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Eur J Neurosci. 2003 Feb;17(3):559-78.

Prefrontal and agranular cingulate projections to the dorsal premotor areas F2 and F7 in the macaque monkey.

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Dipartomento di Neuroscienze, Sezione di Fisiologia, Universita' di Parma, Italy.


The superior sector of Brodmann area 6 (dorsal premotor cortex, PMd) of the macaque monkey consists of a rostral and a caudal architectonic area referred to as F7 and F2, respectively. The aim of this study was to define the origin of prefrontal and agranular cingulate afferents to F7 and F2, in the light of functional and hodological evidence showing that these areas do not appear to be functionally homogeneous. Different sectors of F7 and F2 were injected with neural tracers in seven monkeys and the retrograde labelling was qualitatively and quantitatively analysed. The dorsorostral part of F7 (supplementary eye field, F7-SEF) was found to be a target of strong afferents from the frontal eye field (FEF), from the dorsolateral prefrontal regions located dorsally (DLPFd) and ventrally (DLPFv) to the principal sulcus and from cingulate areas 24a, 24b and 24c. In contrast, the remaining part of F7 (F7-non SEF) is only a target of the strong afferents from DLPFd. Finally, the ventrorostral part of F2 (F2vr), but not the F2 sector located around the superior precentral dimple (F2d), receives a minor, but significant, input from DLPFd and a relatively strong input from the cingulate gyrus (areas 24a and 24b) and area 24d. Present data provide strong hodological support in favour of the idea that areas F7 and F2 are formed by two functionally distinct sectors.

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