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The line of Gennari (also called the "band" or "stria" of Gennari) is a band of myelinated axons that run parallel to the surface of the cerebral cortex on the banks of the calcarine fissure in the occipital lobe. This formation is visible to the naked eye as a white strip running through the cortical grey matter, and is the reason the primate V1 is also referred to as "striate cortex." The line of Gennari is due to dense axonal input from the thalamus to layer IV of visual cortex. The structure is named for its discoverer, Francesco Gennari, who first observed it in 1776 as a medical student at the University of Parma.[1] He described it in a book which he published six years later.[2] Although non-primate species have areas that are designated primary visual cortex, some (if not all) lack a stria of Gennari.[3]

Line of Gennari
Cerebral cortex. To the left, the groups of cells; to the right, the systems of fibers. Quite to the left of the figure a sensory nerve fiber is shown.
Visual cortex - intermed mag.jpg
Micrograph showing the visual cortex (predominantly pink). The blue, horizontal band in the lower half of the image are the bands of Baillarger/the line of Gennari. Subcortical white matter (predominantly blue) is seen at the very bottom of the image. HE-LFB stain.
Latinstria occipitalis laminae granularis internae isocorticis
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

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  1. ^ Glickstein M., Rizzolatti G. Francesco Gennari and the structure of the cerebral cortex Trends in Neurosciences, Volume 7, Issue 12, 464-467, 1 December 1984.
  2. ^ F. Gennari. De Peculiari Structura Cerebri Parma Ex Regio Typographeo, 1782.
  3. ^ Zilles and Wree. Isocortex in Paxinos (Ed.) The Rat Nervous System, 1985.