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J Comp Neurol. 2014 Feb 15;522(3):546-72. doi: 10.1002/cne.23426.

Corticocortical projections to representations of the teeth, tongue, and face in somatosensory area 3b of macaques.

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Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, 37203.


We placed injections of anatomical tracers into representations of the tongue, teeth, and face in the primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b) of macaque monkeys. Our injections revealed strong projections to representations of the tongue and teeth from other parts of the oral cavity responsive region in 3b. The 3b face also provided input to the representations of the intraoral structures. The primary representation of the face showed a pattern of intrinsic connections similar to that of the mouth. The area 3b hand representation provided little to no input to either the mouth or the face representations. The mouth and face representations of area 3b received projections from the presumptive oral cavity and face regions of other somatosensory areas in the anterior parietal cortex and the lateral sulcus, including areas 3a, 1, 2, the second somatosensory area (S2), the parietal ventral area (PV), and cortex that may include the parietal rostral (PR) and ventral somatosensory (VS) areas. Additional inputs came from primary motor (M1) and ventral premotor (PMv) areas. This areal pattern of projections is similar to the well-studied pattern revealed by tracer injections in regions of 3b representing the hand. The tongue representation appeared to be unique in area 3b in that it also received inputs from areas in the anterior upper bank of the lateral sulcus and anterior insula that may include the primary gustatory area (area G) and other cortical taste-processing areas, as well as a region of lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) lining the principal sulcus.


gustatory cortex; insular cortex; motor cortex; somatosensory cortex; taste

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