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Brain Res. 2003 Jun 6;974(1-2):43-59.

Efferent subcortical projections of the laryngeal motorcortex in the rhesus monkey.

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Department of Neurobiology, German Primate Center, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.


In order to better understand the descending voluntary vocal control pathway, the efferent subcortical projections of the laryngeal motorcortex were studied in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta). For this purpose, the left motorcortex was exposed in three animals under narcosis. By electrical brain stimulation, sites were identified yielding vocal fold adduction. Effective sites were injected with the anterograde tracer biotin dextran amine. Subcortical projections could be traced within the forebrain to the putamen, caudate nucleus, claustrum, zona incerta, field H of Forel and a number of thalamic nuclei, with the heaviest projections to the nuclei ventralis lateralis, ventralis posteromedialis, including its parvocellular part, medialis dorsalis, centralis medialis, centrum medianum and reuniens. In the midbrain, labeling was found in the deep mesencephalic nucleus. In the lower brainstem, fibers terminated in the pontine and medullary reticular formation, locus coeruleus, nucleus subcoeruleus, medial parabrachial nucleus, nucleus of the spinal trigeminal tract, solitary tract nucleus and facial nucleus. No projections were found to the nucl. ambiguus. The fact that monkeys, in contrast to humans, lack a direct connection of the motorcortex with the laryngeal motoneurons suggests that this connection has evolved in the last few million years and might represent one of the factors that made speech evolution possible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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