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J Comp Neurol. 2004 May 3;472(3):371-94.

Perirhinal and parahippocampal cortices of the macaque monkey: Intrinsic projections and interconnections.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Neuroscience, California National Primate Research Center and M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California, Davis, Davis, California 95616, USA.


We investigated the topographic and laminar organization of the intrinsic projections and interconnections of the macaque monkey perirhinal and parahippocampal cortices. Discrete anterograde tracer injections placed at various rostrocaudal and mediolateral levels in these cortices revealed extensive associational connections both within and between the perirhinal and parahippocampal cortices. Areas 35, 36rm, 36rl, 36cm, and 36cl are highly interconnected, whereas area 36d (encompassing the dorsal portion of the medial temporal pole) shares only modest connections with the rest of the perirhinal cortex. Areas TH, TFm, and TFl of the parahippocampal cortex also share an extensive network of associational connections that tend to be heaviest within a given subdivision. Area 36c of the perirhinal cortex is the main interface between the perirhinal and parahippocampal cortices. Its heaviest connections are with area 36r and the anterior aspect of area TF. The laminar organization of all these connections is typical of associational projections. Anterograde tracer experiments revealed that these projections are distributed through both deep and superficial layers, although heavier projections are directed toward the superficial layers. Results of retrograde tracer experiments suggested that the projections from caudal areas (36c or TF) to area 36r are of the feedforward type, whereas the projections from areas 36r and 36c to area TF are of the feedback type. These findings suggest that the perirhinal cortex is at a higher level than the parahippocampal cortex in the hierarchy of associational cortices. We discuss the functional implications of the organization of these extensive networks of intrinsic, associational projections.

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