Efferent connections of "posterodorsal" auditory area in the rat cortex: implications for auditory spatial processing

Neuroscience. 2004;128(2):399-419. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2004.07.010.


We examined efferent connections of the cortical auditory field that receives thalamic afferents specifically from the suprageniculate nucleus (SG) and the dorsal division (MGD) of the medial geniculate body (MG) in the rat [Neuroscience 117 (2003) 1003]. The examined cortical region was adjacent to the caudodorsal border (4.8-7.0 mm posterior to bregma) of the primary auditory area (area Te1) and exhibited relatively late auditory response and high best frequency, compared with the caudal end of area Te1. On the basis of the location and auditory response property, the cortical region is considered identical to "posterodorsal" auditory area (PD). Injections of biocytin in PD revealed characteristic projections, which terminated in cortical areas and subcortical structures that play pivotal roles in directed attention and space processing. The most noticeable cortical terminal field appeared as dense plexuses of axons in area Oc2M, the posterior parietal cortex. Small terminal fields were scattered in area frontal cortex, area 2 that comprises the frontal eye field. The subcortical terminal fields were observed in the pontine nucleus, the nucleus of the brachium inferior colliculus, and the intermediate and deep layers of the superior colliculus. Corticostriatal projections targeted two discrete regions of the caudate putamen: the top of the middle part and the caudal end. It is noteworthy that the inferior colliculus and amygdala virtually received no projection. Corticothalamic projections terminated in the MGD, the SG, the ventral zone of the ventral division of the MG, the ventral margin of the lateral posterior nucleus (LP), and the caudodorsal part of the posterior thalamic nuclear group (Po). Large terminals were found in the MGD, SG, LP and Po besides small terminals, the major component of labeling. The results suggest that PD is an auditory area that plays an important role in spatial processing linked to directed attention and motor function. The results extend to the rat findings from nonhuman primates suggesting the existence of a posterodorsal processing stream for auditory spatial perception.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology
  • Lysine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sound Localization / physiology*
  • Superior Colliculi / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Thalamic Nuclei / physiology
  • Visual Fields / physiology


  • biocytin
  • Lysine