The fluorescent dye technique for retrograde axonal tracing was used to characterize the laminar organization of neurons in the rat retrosplenial granular cortex (Rg) that project to cortical or thalamic targets. The data from 40 experiments demonstrate that each of the projections studied arises from a slightly different layer of cells. The commissural projection from Rg to Rg can be divided into two categories. A point to point projection originates in the superficial layer II neurons and a somewhat more widespread projection originates from neurons in layers III, Vb and Vc. The intrinsic projection from Rg to Rg arises from cell bodies that are in the same laminar position as the cells of origin of the commissural projection, but there is an additional input from neurons in layer VIb. In contrast to the homotopic projections, the commissural projection from Rgb to retrosplenial agranular cortex (Rag) originates in layer Va, while the ipsilateral projection from Rgb to Rag originates in layer Va, Vc and VIb. All of the input to the anterior thalamic nuclei originates in layer VIa, but while the ipsilateral projection originates in both superficial and deep layer VIa neurons, contralateral projections do not arise from cells in the deepest part of layer VIa. © 1987.