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J Comp Neurol. 1986 Sep 15;251(3):281-98.

Afferent and efferent projections of the inferior area 6 in the macaque monkey.


The rostral part of the agranular frontal cortex (area 6) can be subdivided on the basis of its cytoarchitecture, enzymatic properties, and connections into two large sectors: a superior region, lying medial to the spur of the arcuate sulcus, and an inferior region, lying lateral to it. In this study we traced the afferent and efferent connections of the inferior region of area 6 by injecting small amounts of wheat germ agglutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) and fluorescent tracers (fast blue and diamidino yellow) into restricted parts of inferior area 6 and in physiologically determined fields of area 4. There is an ordered topographic pattern of connections between inferior area 6 and area 4. The region near the spur of the arcuate sulcus (hand field) projects to the area 4 hand field while the lateral part of inferior area 6 (mouth field) is connected with the corresponding field in area 4. The organization of the connections between the two fields is, however, different. The hand fields in area 6 and 4 have direct reciprocal projections, whereas the mouth field in the postarcuate cortex relays information to area 4 via a zone intermediate between the arcuate and the central sulcus. This zone corresponds to the cytochrome oxidase area F4 (Matelli, Luppino, and Rizzolatti: Behav. Brain Res. 18: 125-137, '85). The inferior area 6 also has topographically organized connections with the supplementary motor area. The inferior area 6 receives and sends fibers to a series of discrete cortical areas located in the lower cortical moiety (Sanides: The Structure and Function of the Nervous Tissue, Vol. 5. New York: Academic Press, pp 329-453, '72). These areas that form a broad ring around the central sulcus are the ventral bank of the principal sulcus and the adjacent area 46, the precentral operculum (PrOC), area SII (Jones and Burton: J. Comp. Neurol. 168:197-248, '76), the parietal operculum, and the rostral part of the inferior parietal lobule including the lower bank of the intraparietal sulcus. Finally, the inferior area 6 has sparse but consistent connections with insular and cingulate cortices. The functional significance of this complex pattern of connections is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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