It is a common view that the intricate array of specialized domains in the ventral visual pathway is innately prespecified. What this review postulates is that they are not. We explore the origins of domain specificity, hypothesizing that the adult brain emerges from an interplay between a domain-general map-based architecture, shaped by intrinsic mechanisms, and experience. We argue that the most fundamental innate organization of cortex in general, and not just the visual pathway, is a map-based topography that governs how the environment maps onto the brain, how brain areas interconnect, and ultimately, how the brain processes information.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 47 is July 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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