, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 117-126

Long-distance feedback projections to area V1: Implications for multisensory integration, spatial awareness, and visual consciousness


It is generally agreed that information flow through the cortex is constrained by a hierarchical architecture. Recent experimental evidence suggests that projections descending the hierarchy and targeting the primary visual cortex (area V1) may play an essential role in perceptual processes. We have, therefore, reexamined feedback projections to area V1, using retrograde tracer injections in this area. In addition to well-known areas, quantification of labeling in higher cortical areas reveals a number of hitherto unknown long-distance feedback connections originating from auditory (A1), multisensory (STP) cortices, but also from a perirhinal area (36). These feedback projections from advanced cortical stations, a global feature shared by areas that belong to the ventral visual stream, could play an important role in early multisensory integration and spatial awareness and could provide the physical substrate for the involvement of area V1 in visual consciousness.

This work was supported by EU Grant“Nets and Representations” QLG3-1999-0106, Human Frontier Science Program Grant RG0133/ 2000-B, and European Community FP5 Quality of Life Grant QLG3-1999-01064, A.F. was supported by the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale.