Interconnections of auditory areas in the guinea pig neocortex

Exp Brain Res. 2002 Mar;143(1):106-19. doi: 10.1007/s00221-001-0973-9. Epub 2002 Jan 19.


By studying the efferent projections of five auditory areas in the guinea pig cortex, we sought evidence that the larger fields can be divided into subareas based on unique patterns of cortical connections. Small extracellular injections of biocytin were made in combination with evoked potential mapping or single-unit analysis and histochemical determination of cortical landmarks. The two core fields, primary (AI) and dorsocaudal (DC), are partially surrounded by six adjacent belt areas, leaving two gaps: one at the rostral edge of AI and the other at the dorsal edge. All of the areas studied projected to their nearest neighbors, but AI was the only area to project to all seven of the other auditory areas. The caudal, high-frequency (more than 4 kHz) end of AI had different projections from the rostral, low-frequency (less than 1.5 kHz) end, and there was no evidence of connections between the two ends. Each end had separate dorsal and ventral projections. The two ends of AI may be working independently. By contrast, area DC had strong connections between its high- and low-frequency ends and it may be involved in auditory/visual integration. The dorsorostral belt (DRB) was subdivided into two zones on the basis of its projections: the more rostral part appears to overlap the second somatosensory area and be bimodal, while the caudal part has stronger auditory connections. The small belt area (area S) had separate physiological and anatomical properties from the rest of the rostral belt.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / cytology*
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Lysine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Nerve Net / cytology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / cytology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Pitch Perception / physiology*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology
  • Presynaptic Terminals / ultrastructure*


  • biocytin
  • Lysine