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Brain Res Bull. 2012 Mar 10;87(4-5):457-97. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2011.12.005. Epub 2012 Jan 2.

Cytoarchitecture and cortical connections of the anterior cingulate and adjacent somatomotor fields in the rhesus monkey.

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1
University of South Dakota School of Medicine, Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Laboratory of Neurological Sciences, Vermillion, SD 57069, USA. Robert.Morecraft@usd.edu

Abstract

The cytoarchitecture and cortical connections of the anterior cingulate, medial and dorsal premotor, and precentral region are investigated using the Nissl and NeuN staining methods and the fluorescent retrograde tract tracing technique. There is a gradual stepwise laminar change in the cytoarchitectonic organization from the proisocortical anterior cingulate region, through the lower and upper banks of the cingulate sulcus, to the dorsolateral isocortical premotor and precentral motor regions of the frontal lobe. These changes are characterized by a gradational emphasis on the lower stratum layers (V and VI) in the proisocortical cingulate region to the upper stratum layers (II and III) in the premotor and precentral motor region. This is accompanied by a progressive widening of layers III and VI, a poorly delineated border between layers III and V and a sequential increase in the size of layer V neurons culminating in the presence of giant Betz cells in the precentral motor region. The overall patterns of corticocortical connections paralleled the sequential changes in cytoarchitectonic organization. The proisocortical areas have connections with cingulate motor, supplementary motor, premotor and precentral motor areas on the one hand and have widespread connections with the frontal, parietal, temporal and multimodal association cortex and limbic regions on the other. The dorsal premotor areas have connections with the proisocortical areas including cingulate motor areas and supplementary motor area on the one hand, and premotor and precentral motor cortex on the other. Additionally, this region has significant connections with posterior parietal cortex and limited connections with prefrontal, limbic and multimodal regions. The precentral motor cortex also has connections with the proisocortical areas and premotor areas. Its other connections are limited to the somatosensory regions of the parietal lobe. Since the isocortical motor areas on the dorsal convexity mediate voluntary motor function, their close connectional relationship with the cingulate areas form a pivotal limbic-motor interface that could provide critical sources of cognitive, emotional and motivational influence on complex motor function.

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