Kathy Rockland, Ph.D.


Research Professor

Phone: 617 638-4142
Email: krock (at) bu (dot) edu
Location: L1014D

Other positions:

Visiting Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Associate Editor, Journal of Comparative Neurology
Associate Editor, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy

Laboratory Webpage

My first steps were in humanities (B.A. in French, Wellesley, 1969; M.A. in Romance Languages, Princeton, 1972). I have retained a keen enthusiasm for language and literature from this period, but have not yet incorporated this directly into my scientific work. My graduate studies (Ph.D. 1979, Boston University) were carried out with Deepak Pandya. At that time, the HRP protocol was just starting to work successfully in monkey tissue, and autoradiography was replacing lesion-degeneration techniques. We used both techniques concurrently to reexamine connectional patterns in the early visual cortical areas, with special emphasis on laminar distributions. This led to the identification, on anatomical grounds, of fundamentally different types of cortical connections (“feedforward” and “feedback,” Rockland and Pandya, 1979). The further characterization of these and other connectional types remains an area of active research, along with the interactions and functional importance of converging connectional systems. After spending a year with John Allman at Caltech, I joined Jenny Lund in Charleston, SC. In our first experiments, we wanted to establish the existence of an MT area in tree shrew. With this purpose in mind, we injected HRP into area V1, in the hope of finding a cluster of retrogradely filled neurons anterior to V2, in a densely myelinated area. In fact, we were “detoured” by a dramatic pattern of intrinsic connectivity around the injection site in V1. This led to several papers (Rockland and Lund, 1982, 1983), in which we demonstrated that axon collaterals of pyramidal neurons form patchy intrinsic connections about 2-3mm from the parent soma.

After that, I had several marvelous years at University of Iowa followed by RIKEN Brain Science Institute (Wako, Japan). These years were largely focused on single axon analysis of long-distance cortical connections in monkey. I am currently keenly interested in transitioning more into human neuroanatomy, both in a comparative context and, as much as possible, pathological conditions.

Recent Publications

Kurotani T, Miyashita T, Wintzer M, Konishi T, Sakai K, Ichinohe N, Rockland KS. (2013) Pyramidal neurons in the superficial layers of rat retrosplenial cortex exhibit a late-spiking firing property.  Brain Struct Funct. 218(1):239-54.

Watakabe A, Hirokawa J, Ichinohe N, Ohsawa S, Kaneko T, Rockland KS, Yamamori T.  (2012) Area-specific substratification of deep layer neurons in the rat cortex. J Comp Neurol. 520(16):3553-73.

Borra E, Rockland KS. (2011) Projections to early visual areas v1 and v2 in the calcarine fissure from parietal association areas in the macaque. Front Neuroanat. 5:35

Rockland KS.(2010) Five points on columns.  Front Neuroanat.  4:22.

Ichinohe N, Matsushita A, Ohta K, Rockland KS.(2010) Pathway-specific utilization of synaptic zinc in the macaque ventral visual cortical areas. Cereb Cortex. 20(12):2818-31

Borra E, Ichinohe N, Sato T, Tanifuji M, Rockland KS. (2010) Cortical connections to area TE in monkey: hybrid modular and distributed organization. Cereb Cortex.  20(2):257-70.

Ichinohe N, Hayashi M, Wakabayashi K, Rockland KS.(2009) Distribution and progression of amyloid-beta deposits in the amygdala of the aged macaque monkey, and parallels with zinc distribution. Neuroscience. 159(4):1374-83.

Ichinohe N, Hyde J, Matsushita A, Ohta K, Rockland KS.(2008) Confocal mapping of cortical inputs onto identified pyramidal neurons. Front Biosci. 13:6354-73.

Miyashita T, Ichinohe N, Rockland KS.(2007) Differential modes of termination of amygdalothalamic and amygdalocortical projections in the monkey.  J Comp Neurol.  502(2):309-24.

Imura K, Rockland KS.(2006) Long-range interneurons within the medial pulvinar nucleus of macaque monkeys.  J Comp Neurol.  498(5):649-66.