Area V2 of the cerebral cortex of higher primates has a complex cytochrome oxidase architecture whose most characteristic element is a set of stripes running orthogonal to its long axis. These stripes can be related to the segregation between the various pathways in which V2 participates. In the macaque monkey the more metabolically active stripes are alternately thick and thin and only one set, the thick stripes, is found to possess clusters of labelled cells following injections of horseradish peroxidase — wheatgerm agglutinin into area V5. Some of these clusters, but not all, coincide with substructures inside the thick stripes. V2 of the owl monkey has a similar organization except that the diversification into thick and thin stripes is less prominent, both in terms of their appearance and in that more than every alternate stripe is connected to area MT, the likely homologue of V5.
The return projection from V5 to V2 is more widespread than the origin of the forward projection. It extends not only between the clusters of V5-efferent cells within the thick stripes but also across the intervening thin stripes and less active interstripes. Because the latter subserve functions different from those of the thick stripes it would seem that their receipt of a back projection from an area to which they do not project, V5, may be relevant to the process of intergration of signals relating to different attributes of vision.