The inferior parietal lobule (IPL) of the macaque monkey constitutes the largest part of Brodmann's area 7. Functional, connectional, and architectonic data have indicated that area 7 is comprised of several distinct sectors located in the lateral bank of the intraparietal sulcus and on the IPL cortical convexity. To date, however, attempts to parcellate the IPL based on architectonic criteria have been controversial, and correlation between anatomical and functional data has been inadequate. In the present study we aimed to determine the number and extent of cytoarchitectonically distinct areas occupying the IPL convexity. To this end, we studied the cytoarchitecture and myeloarchitecture of this region in 28 hemispheres of 17 macaque monkeys. Four distinct areas were identified at different rostrocaudal levels along the IPL convexity and were defined as PF, PFG, PG, and Opt, with area PF corresponding to the rostralmost area and area Opt to the caudalmost one. All areas extend dorsally up to the lateral bank of the intraparietal sulcus, for about 1-2 mm. Areas PF, PFG, and PG border ventrally on opercular areas, whereas area Opt extends ventrally into the dorsal bank of the superior temporal sulcus. Analysis of the distribution of SMI-32 immunoreactivity confirmed the proposed parcellation scheme. Some additional connectional data showed that the four areas project in a differential way to the premotor cortex. The present data challenge the current widely used subdivision of the IPL convexity into two areas, confirming, but also extending the subdivision originally proposed by Pandya and Seltzer.
Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.