Area Prostriata in the Human Brain

Kyriaki Mikellidou, Jan W. Kurzawski, Francesca Frijia, Domenico Montanaro, Vincenzo Greco, David C. Burr, Maria Concetta Morrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Area prostriata is a cortical area at the fundus of the calcarine sulcus, described anatomically in humans [1–5] and other primates [6–9]. It is lightly myelinated and lacks the clearly defined six-layer structure evident throughout the cerebral cortex, with a thinner layer 4 and thicker layer 2 [10], characteristic of limbic cortex [11]. In the marmoset and rhesus monkey, area prostriata has cortical connections with MT+ [12], the cingulate motor cortex [8], the auditory cortex [13], the orbitofrontal cortex, and the frontal polar cortices [14]. Here we use functional magnetic resonance together with a wide-field projection system to study its functional properties in humans. With population receptive field mapping [15], we show that area prostriata has a complete representation of the visual field, clearly distinct from the adjacent area V1. As in the marmoset, the caudal-dorsal border of human prostriata—abutting V1—represents the far peripheral visual field, with eccentricities decreasing toward its rostral boundary. Area prostriata responds strongly to very fast motion, greater than 500°/s. The functional properties of area prostriata suggest that it may serve to alert the brain quickly to fast visual events, particularly in the peripheral visual field. Mikellidou et al. describe functionally area prostriata in humans. Located at the fundus of the calcarine sulcus, it has an orderly representation of the contralateral visual field, evenly distributed receptive fields, and a preference for fast motion. Prostriata may be alerting the brain to rapidly appearing visual events, mainly in the periphery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3056-3060.e3
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 9 2017


  • fast motion
  • human
  • peripheral vision
  • population receptive fields
  • prostriata
  • retinotopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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