A twisted visual field map in the primate dorsomedial cortex predicted by topographic continuity
Adjacent neurons in visual cortex have overlapping receptive fields within and across area boundaries, an arrangement theorized to minimize wiring cost. This constraint is traditionally thought to create retinotopic maps of opposing field signs (mirror and nonmirror visual field representations) in adjacent areas, a concept that has become central in current attempts to subdivide the extrastriate cortex. We simulated the formation of retinotopic maps using a model that balances constraints imposed by smoothness in the representation within an area and by congruence between areas. As in the primate cortex, this model usually leads to alternating mirror and nonmirror maps. However, we found that it can also produce a more complex type of map, consisting of sectors with opposing field sign within a single area. Using fully quantitative electrode array recordings, we then demonstrate that this type of inhomogeneous map exists in the controversial dorsomedial region of the primate extrastriate cortex.