In this study, we compared the organization of orientation preference in visual areas V1, V2, and V3. Within these visual areas, we also quantified the relationship between orientation preference and cytochrome oxidase (CO) staining patterns. V1 maps of orientation preference contained both pinwheels and linear zones. The location of CO blobs did not relate in a systematic way to maps of orientation; although, as in other primates, there were approximately twice as many pinwheels as CO blobs. V2 contained bands of high and low orientation selectivity. The bands of high orientation selectivity were organized into pinwheels and linear zones, but iso-orientation domains were twice as large as those in V1. Quantitative comparisons between bands containing high or low orientation selectivity and CO dark and light bands suggested that at least four functional compartments exist in V2, CO dense bands with either high or low orientation selectivity, and CO light bands with either high or low selectivity. We also demonstrated that two functional compartments exist in V3, with zones of high orientation selectivity corresponding to CO dense areas and zones of low orientation selectivity corresponding to CO pale areas. Together with previous findings, these results suggest that the modular organization of V1 is similar across primates and indeed across most mammals. V2 organization in owl monkeys also appears similar to that of other simians but different from that of prosimians and other mammals. Finally, V3 of owl monkeys shows a compartmental organization for orientation selectivity that remains to be demonstrated in other primates.