The prestriate cortex occupies the cortical surface area anterior, lateral, and superior to the striate cortex. Once believed to be cytoarchitectonicaly homogeneous, the prestriate cortex is actually a collection of about a dozen different areas. Much of this region used to be called the visual association area, because it did not receive direct inputs from the sensory thalamic relay nuclei.
In general, the amount of prestriate cortex represents a larger fraction of the visual area than the striate in higher mammals, while the reverse is true for lower species. This suggests that the more complex visual functions characteristic of primates may be associated with the prestriate cortex.