Architectonic subdivision of the human orbital and medial prefrontal cortex

J Comp Neurol. 2003 Jun 2;460(3):425-49. doi: 10.1002/cne.10609.


The structure of the human orbital and medial prefrontal cortex (OMPFC) was investigated using five histological and immunohistochemical stains and was correlated with a previous analysis in macaque monkeys [Carmichael and Price (1994) J. Comp. Neurol. 346:366-402]. A cortical area was recognized if it was distinct with at least two stains and was found in similar locations in different brains. All of the areas recognized in the macaque OMPFC have counterparts in humans. Areas 11, 13, and 14 were subdivided into areas 11m, 11l, 13a, 13b, 13m, 13l, 14r, and 14c. Within area 10, the region corresponding to area 10m in monkeys was divided into 10m and 10r, and area 10o (orbital) was renamed area 10p (polar). Areas 47/12r, 47/12m, 47/12l, and 47/12s occupy the lateral orbital cortex, corresponding to monkey areas 12r, 12m, 12l, and 12o. The agranular insula (areas Iam, Iapm, Iai, and Ial) extends onto the caudal orbital surface and into the horizontal ramus of the lateral sulcus. The growth of the frontal pole in humans has pushed area 25 and area 32pl, which corresponds to the prelimbic area 32 in Brodmann's monkey brain map, caudal and ventral to the genu of the corpus callosum. Anterior cingulate areas 24a and 24b also extend ventral to the genu of the corpus callosum. Area 32ac, corresponding to the dorsal anterior cingulate area 32 in Brodmann's human brain map, is anterior and dorsal to the genu. The parallel organization of the OMPFC in monkeys and humans allows experimental data from monkeys to be applied to studies of the human cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / analysis
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Humans
  • Myelin Sheath / chemistry
  • Neurofilament Proteins / analysis
  • Parvalbumins / analysis
  • Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / chemistry*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / cytology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / enzymology
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Neurofilament Proteins
  • Parvalbumins
  • neurofilament protein H
  • Acetylcholinesterase