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Cereb Cortex. 2000 Sep;10(9):851-65.

The laminar pattern of connections between prefrontal and anterior temporal cortices in the Rhesus monkey is related to cortical structure and function.

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Department of Health Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


The laminar pattern of axonal termination from prefrontal (caudal orbitofrontal, rostral orbitofrontal and lateral areas) to anterior temporal areas (entorhinal cortex, perirhinal cortex and area TE) and from temporal to prefrontal areas was investigated with the aid of anterograde tracers. Both regions are characterized by structural heterogeneity, and include agranular, dysgranular and granular cortical types, denoting, respectively, the absence, incipience and presence of granular layer 4. In addition, both the prefrontal and anterior temporal cortices are composed of areas that have related though specialized functions. The pattern of cortical axonal termination was associated with both the structural type of the cortex of origin and the structure of the destination cortex. Thus, efferent fibers from a single origin in either prefrontal or anterior temporal cortex terminated in different patterns depending on their target area. Conversely, axons terminated in different patterns in a single target area, prefrontal or anterior temporal, depending on their area of origin. Projections from agranular or dysgranular type cortices (e.g. medial temporal areas and caudal orbitofrontal areas) terminated mostly in the upper layers of granular cortices (e.g. area TE and lateral prefrontal areas), and projections from granular cortices terminated mostly in the deep layers of agranular or dys- granular cortices. A robust projection from dysgranular orbitofrontal areas terminated in the deep layers of the agranular entorhinal cortex. Projections from prefrontal areas to area TE terminated in the upper layers, and may facilitate focused attention on behaviorally relevant stimuli processed through reciprocal pathways between prefrontal and temporal cortices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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