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eNeuro. 2018 Oct 25;5(5). pii: ENEURO.0315-18.2018. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0315-18.2018. eCollection 2018 Sep-Oct.

What, If Anything, Is Rodent Prefrontal Cortex?

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Department of Biology and Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, American University, Washington, DC 20016.


Prefrontal cortex (PFC) means different things to different people. In recent years, there has been a major increase in publications on the PFC, especially using mice. However, inconsistencies in the nomenclature and anatomical boundaries of PFC areas has made it difficult for researchers to compare data and interpret findings across species. We conducted a meta-analysis of publications on the PFC of humans and rodents and found dramatic differences in the focus of research on these species. In addition, we compared anatomical terms and criteria across several common rodent brain atlases and found inconsistencies among, and even within, leading atlases. To assess the impact of these issues on the research community, we conducted a survey of established PFC researchers on their use of anatomical terms and found little consensus. We report on the results of the survey and propose an alternative scheme for interpreting data from rodent studies, based on structural analysis of the corpus callosum and nomenclature used in research on the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of primates.


atlas; callosum; cingulated; meta-analysis; prefrontal; survey

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