Median nerves to the hands of 8–15-d-old marmoset monkeys were transected and precluded from regeneration by ligation. Following periods of 0.4–1.5 years, features of organization in the cortical area 3b hand map were assessed neurophysiologically, and compared to features in normally reared monkeys. Cortical features in monkeys with both histories were similar in certain respects. (1) Receptive field organization was similar in terms of tactile thresholds and receptive field size, continuity, and glabrous-hairy specificity. (2) Somatotopic organization was similar in terms of the continuity of the glabrous representation, and progressions of receptive field shifts across some parts of the hand map. (3) Finally, the overall size of the hand map did not change. In contrast, other cortical features clearly differed following these developmental histories. (1) Neurons at virtually all recording sites in normal hand maps responded to light mechanical stimulation, whereas, following injury, neurons at about 8% of the recording sites responded only to high-intensity stimuli. (2) Somatotopic organization differed in terms of the presence or absence of the representation of skin autonomously innervated by the median nerve, the number and continuity of representations of hairy skin, and the spatial interfacing of representations. (3) Finally, there were differences in the areas and widths of representations of parts of the hand. The overall impression is that there is a correspondence between the cortical features that changed most after injury, and the features that varied most in individual normal monkeys: in both circumstances the most variable features involved properties of spatial patterning across large aggregates of neurons as reflected by the size, shape, continuity, and interfacing of representations. A hypothesis is proposed that suggests that the cortical hand map normally consists of a number of representations that are capable of developing and surviving somewhat autonomously of each other. The features of spatial patterning in the mosaiclike map of these representations are influenced by postnatal availability of inputs from intact hand nerves.