Relationship of prefrontal connections to inhibitory systems in superior temporal areas in the rhesus monkey

Cereb Cortex. 2005 Sep;15(9):1356-70. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhi018. Epub 2005 Jan 5.


The prefrontal cortex selects relevant signals and suppresses irrelevant signals in behavior, as exemplified by its functional interaction with superior temporal cortices. We addressed the structural basis of this process by investigating quantitatively the relationship of prefrontal pathways to inhibitory interneurons in superior temporal cortices. Pathways were labeled with neural tracers, and two neurochemical classes of inhibitory interneurons were labeled with parvalbumin (PV) and calbindin (CB), which differ in mode of inhibitory control. Both markers varied significantly and systematically across superior temporal areas. Calbindin neurons were more prevalent than PV neurons, with the highest densities found in posterior high-order auditory association cortices. Axons from anterior lateral, medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal areas terminated in the anterior half of the superior temporal gyrus, targeting mostly the superficial layers (I to upper III), where CB neurons predominated. Reciprocal projection neurons were intermingled with PV neurons, and emanated mostly from the deep part of layer III and to a lesser extent from layers V-VI, in proportions matching the laminar density of inhibitory interneurons. In marked contrast, prefrontal connections in temporal polar cortex were found mostly in the deep layers, showing mismatch with the predominant upper laminar distribution of interneurons. Differences in the relationship of connections to inhibitory neurons probably affect the dynamics in distinct superior temporal cortices. These findings may help explain the reduced efficacy of inhibitory control in superior temporal areas after prefrontal cortical damage.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotin / analogs & derivatives
  • Brain Mapping
  • Calbindins
  • Dextrans
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Presynaptic Terminals
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*


  • Calbindins
  • Dextrans
  • Parvalbumins
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • biotinylated dextran amine
  • Biotin