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J Comp Neurol. 2007 Jun 20;502(6):924-52.

Multisensory convergence in auditory cortex, II. Thalamocortical connections of the caudal superior temporal plane.

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Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37203, USA.


Recent studies of macaque monkey auditory cortex have revealed convergent auditory and somatosensory activity in the caudomedial area (CM) of the belt region. In the present study and its companion (Smiley et al., J. Comp. Neurol. [this issue]), neuroanatomical tracers were injected into CM and adjacent areas of the superior temporal plane to identify sources of auditory and somatosensory input to this region. Other than CM, target areas included: A1, caudolateral belt (CL), retroinsular (Ri), and temporal parietotemporal (Tpt). Cells labeled by injections of these areas were distributed mainly among the ventral (MGv), posterodorsal (MGpd), anterodorsal (MGad), and magnocellular (MGm) divisions of the medial geniculate complex (MGC) and several nuclei with established multisensory features: posterior (Po), suprageniculate (Sg), limitans (Lim), and medial pulvinar (PM). The principal inputs of CM were MGad, MGv, and MGm, with secondary inputs from multisensory nuclei. The main inputs of CL were Po and MGpd, with secondary inputs from MGad, MGm, and multisensory nuclei. A1 was dominated by inputs from MGv and MGad, with light multisensory inputs. The input profile of Tpt closely resembled that of CL, but with reduced MGC inputs. Injections of Ri also involved CM but strongly favored MGm and multisensory nuclei, with secondary inputs from MGC and the inferior division (VPI) of the ventroposterior complex (VP). The results indicate that the thalamic inputs of areas in the caudal superior temporal plane arise mainly from the same nuclei, but in different proportions. Somatosensory inputs may reach CM and CL through MGm or the multisensory nuclei but not VP.

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