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Exp Brain Res. 1996 Sep;111(2):215-32.

Neuronal connections of orbital cortex in rats: topography of cortical and thalamic afferents.

Author information

1
Department of Physiological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610, USA. Reep@cortex.health.ufl.edu

Abstract

The cortical and thalamic afferent connections of rat orbital cortex were investigated using fluorescent retrograde axonal tracers. Each of the four orbital areas has a distinct pattern of connections. Corticocortical connections involving the ventral and ventrolateral orbital areas are more extensive than those of the medial and lateral orbital areas. The medial orbital area has cortical connections with the cingulate, medial agranular (Fr2) and posterior parietal (PPC) cortices. The ventral orbital area has connections with the cingulate area, area Fr2, secondary somatic sensory area Par2, PPC, and visual areas Oc2M and Oc2L. The ventrolateral orbital area (VLO) receives cortical input from insular cortex, area Fr2, somatic sensory areas Par1 and Par2, PPC and Oc2L. The lateral orbital area has cortical connections limited to the agranular and granular insular areas, and Par2. Thalamic afferents to the four orbital fields are also topographically organized, and are focused in the submedial and mediodorsal nuclei. The ventrolateral orbital area receives input from the entirety of the submedial nucleus, whereas the other orbital areas receive input from its periphery only. Each orbital area is connected with a particular segment of the mediodorsal nucleus. The medial orbital area receives its principal thalamic afferents from the parataenial nucleus, the dorsocentral portion of the mediodorsal nucleus, and the ventromedial portion of the submedial nucleus. The ventral orbital area receives input from the lateral segment of the mediodorsal nucleus, the rostromedial portion of the submedial nucleus, and the central lateral nucleus. Thalamic afferents to the ventrolateral orbital area arise from the entirety of the submedial nucleus and from the lateral segment of the mediodorsal nucleus. The lateral orbital area receives thalamic afferents from the central segment of the mediodorsal nucleus, the ventral portion of the submedial nucleus, and the ventromedial nucleus. The paraventricular, ventromedial, rhomboid and reuniens nuclei also provide additional input to the four orbital areas. The connections of the ventrolateral orbital area are interpreted in the context of its role in directed attention and allocentric spatial localization. The present findings provide anatomical support for the view that areas Fr2, PPC and VLO comprise a cortical network mediating such functions.

PMID:
8891652
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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