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J Comp Neurol. 1987 May 1;259(1):13-30.

Cortical and subcortical afferent connections of a posterior division of feline area 7 (area 7p).


Area 7 of the cat, as identified cytoarchitecturally, includes cortex both on the middle suprasylvian gyrus and on the anterior lateral gyrus. The aim of the experiments reported here was to determine whether within this zone there are subdivisions with qualitatively different patterns of afferent connectivity. Deposits of distinguishable retrograde tracers were placed at 29 sites in and around area 7 of 15 cats; cortical and subcortical telencephalic structures were then scanned for retrograde labeling. Our results indicate that cortex on the anterior lateral gyrus, although often included in area 7, is indistinguishable on connectional grounds from adjacent somesthetic cortex (area 5b). Cortex with strong links to visual, oculomotor, and association areas is confined to the middle suprasylvian gyrus and the adjacent lateral bank of the lateral sulcus. We refer to this discrete, connectionally defined zone as posterior area 7 (area 7p). Area 7p receives input from visual areas 19, 20a, 20b, 21a, 21b, AMLS, ALLS, and PLLS; from frontal oculomotor cortex (areas 6m and 6l); and from cortical association areas (posterior cingulate cortex, the granular insula, the posterior ectosylvian gyrus, and posterior area 35). Thalamic projections to area 7p arise from three specific nuclei (pulvinar; nucleus lateralis intermedius, pars caudalis; nucleus ventralis anterior) and from the intralaminar complex (nuclei centralis lateralis, paracentralis and centralis medialis). Neurons in a division of the claustrum immediately beneath the somatosensory and visual zones project to area 7p. Within area 7p, anterior-posterior regional differentiation is present, as indicated by the spatial ordering of projections from cingulate and frontal cortex, the thalamus, and the claustrum. Area 7p, as delineated by connectional analysis in this study, resembles cortex of the primate inferior parietal lobule both in its location relative to other cortical districts and in its pattern of neural connectivity.

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