Once the visual pathway reaches striate cortex, it fans out to a number of extrastriate areas. The projections to the second visual area (V2) are known to terminate in a patchy manner. V2 contains a system of repeating pale-thin-pale-thick stripes of cytochrome oxidase (CO) activity. We examined whether the patchy terminal fields arising from primary visual cortex (V1) projections are systematically related to the CO stripes in V2. Large injections of an anterograde tracer, [3H]proline, were made into V1 of both hemispheres in 5 macaques. The resulting V2 label appeared in layers 2-6, with the densest concentration in layer 4. In 21/29 injections, comparison of adjacent flatmount sections processed either for autoradiography or CO activity showed that the heaviest [3H]proline labeling was located in pale CO stripes. In 7/29 injections, there was no clear enrichment of labeling in the CO pale stripes. In 1 injection, the proline label correlated with dark CO stripes. On a fine scale, CO levels vary within V2 stripes, giving them an irregular, mottled appearance. In all stripe types, the density of proline label would often wax and wane in opposing contrast to these local fluctuations in CO density. Our data showed that V1 input is generally anti-correlated with the intensity of CO staining in V2, with strongest input to pale stripes. It is known that the pulvinar projects preferentially to dark stripes. Therefore, V2 receives interleaved projections from V1 and the pulvinar. Because these projections favor different stripe types, they may target separate populations of neurons. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.