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Front Integr Neurosci. 2010 Dec 14;4:128. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2010.00128. eCollection 2010.

Vocalization Induced CFos Expression in Marmoset Cortex.

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1
Laboratory of Auditory Neurophysiology, Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD, USA.

Abstract

All non-human primates communicate with conspecifics using vocalizations, a system involving both the production and perception of species-specific vocal signals. Much of the work on the neural basis of primate vocal communication in cortex has focused on the sensory processing of vocalizations, while relatively little data are available for vocal production. Earlier physiological studies in squirrel monkeys had shed doubts on the involvement of primate cortex in vocal behaviors. The aim of the present study was to identify areas of common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) cortex that are potentially involved in vocal communication. In this study, we quantified cFos expression in three areas of marmoset cortex - frontal, temporal (auditory), and medial temporal - under various vocal conditions. Specifically, we examined cFos expression in these cortical areas during the sensory, motor (vocal production), and sensory-motor components of vocal communication. Our results showed an increase in cFos expression in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex as well as the medial and lateral belt areas of auditory cortex in the vocal perception condition. In contrast, subjects in the vocal production condition resulted in increased cFos expression only in dorsal premotor cortex. During the sensory-motor condition (antiphonal calling), subjects exhibited cFos expression in each of the above areas, as well as increased expression in perirhinal cortex. Overall, these results suggest that various cortical areas outside primary auditory cortex are involved in primate vocal communication. These findings pave the way for further physiological studies of the neural basis of primate vocal communication.

KEYWORDS:

auditory cortex; common marmoset; frontal cortex; immediate early gene expression; medial temporal cortex; vocal communication

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