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J Comp Neurol. 1987 Feb 8;256(2):211-28.

Architecture and frontal cortical connections of the premotor cortex (area 6) in the rhesus monkey.


The premotor cortex (area 6) has several architectonic sectors that can be delineated on the basis of cytoarchitectonic and myeloarchitectonic features. Area 6 may be broadly subdivided into a dorsal and a ventral sector at the spur of the arcuate sulcus. Dorsal 6 lacks a granular layer IV, but ventral 6 has an emergent layer IV that separates laminae III and V. Dorsal 6 has a higher myelin content than ventral 6. Dorsal area 6 is further subdivided into a caudal and a rostral sector on the basis of the presence of large pyramidal cells in the caudal but not in the rostral sector. The rostral sector of area 6 can be subdivided into a medial region distinguished from a more laterally situated area by the presence of more compact and darkly stained cells in layers III and V. Ventral area 6 can be subdivided into an upper and lower division. The upper part has more prominent pyramidal cells in layers III and V, and a better developed outer Baillarger band and vertical plexus than the lower division. The efferent and afferent connections of area 6 were studied with anterograde and retrograde tracers. The frontal connections of dorsal area 6 are restricted to neighboring dorsal frontal regions. Only the caudal sector of dorsal area 6 is connected with the motor cortex. In contrast, ventral area 6 is not only connected with the prefrontal cortex, but also directly with the motor cortex, the parainsular gustatory area, and with somatosensory areas in the frontal operculum. The widespread connections of ventral area 6 may be related to the specialization of the head, neck, and face structures that are represented ventrally within the premotor cortex.

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