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J Neurosci. 1985 Mar;5(3):776-94.

Longitudinal topography and interdigitation of corticostriatal projections in the rhesus monkey.


Anterograde tracing methods were used to examine the topographic organization and interrelationship of projections to the neostriatum arising from various areas of association cortex. In contrast to the currently accepted topographic schema, all cortical areas examined project to longitudinal territories that occupy restricted medial-lateral domains of the neostriatum. The posterior parietal and superior arcuate cortices project to dorsolateral portions of the neostriatum; the dorsolateral and dorsomedial frontal cortices project centrally; and the orbitofrontal, anterior cingulate, and superior temporal projections are distributed to ventromedial regions of the caudate nucleus and putamen. In coronal section, cortical terminal fields form a diagonal strip, extending from the dorsal, ventricular border of the caudate nucleus, through the fiber bundles of the internal capsule, to the ventral margin of the putamen. Double labeling studies, in which two cortical areas were injected in the same animal, indicated that convergence of input within neostriatal domains is not governed by reciprocity of corticocortical connectivity. Thus, the interrelationship of projections arising from connectionally linked cortical areas ranged from nearly complete segregation of terminal fields (e.g., from dorsolateral prefrontal and orbital cortices) to extensive overlap of terminal domains (e.g., from frontal and temporal cortices). In the latter case, detailed analysis revealed that frontal and temporal terminals actually were interdigitated rather than intermixed within the zone of overlap. The present findings suggest a new conceptualization of corticostriatal topography in the primate which emphasizes the longitudinal arrangement of cortical terminal domains. Additionally, these findings provide a map for functional parcellation of the neostriatum on the basis of its cortical innervation which may prove useful to understanding normal striatal function, as well as the symptomatology associated with neostriatal injury and disease.

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