Early development of visual cortex in human fetuses

Masood, F. ; wadhwa, S. ; Bijlani, V. (1990) Early development of visual cortex in human fetuses Archivio Italiano di Anatomia e di Embriologia, 95 (1). pp. 1-10. ISSN 0004-0223

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Prenatal development of visual cortex (area 17) was studied in human fetuses of 8-9, 13-15 and 16-18 weeks of gestation, with a view to analyse the early critical events. Under light microscope, five zones of development were seen in all the age groups. The total thickness of cortex of area 17 as well as that of its cortical plate was measured with the help of camera lucida. It was observed that the total thickness of the cortex increased with increase in age. Diversity in the shape, size, staining intensity and arrangement of neurons was noted in the different zones. Most of the cells were found to have a thin rim of cytoplasm and a prominent nucleus with multiple nucleoli. The cells in subventricular zone and cortical plate were regularly arranged in vertical rows while in other zones, they were irregularly scattered. Several mitotic figures were seen in the ventricular zone at 8-9 weeks but later they were also noticed in subventricular and intermediate zones. In the later ages the mitotic figures were observed to be fewer in the ventricular zone. No mitosis was seen in cortical plate at any age period.

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