Commissural connections between the auditory cortices of the rat

Brain Res. 1990 Feb 12;509(1):71-9. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(90)90310-8.


The pattern of commissural connections of the rat auditory cortex (AC) was investigated with injections of wheat germ agglutinated horseradish peroxidase into the AC. Homotopic and heterotopic patches of neurons were retrogradely labeled in the contralateral hemisphere. Each injection labeled neurons at the corresponding contralateral site, i.e. the homotopic site. In addition, retrogradely labeled neurons were found at non-corresponding locations in contralateral AC, i.e. at heterotopic locations. The pattern of heterotopic labeling changed systematically with the injections. Mapping rules were established that led to the parcellation of areas 41 and 36 into 6 fields. Four fields were defined in Krieg's area 41 (primary AC) and two fields in Krieg's area 36 (secondary AC). In area 41 the heterotopic connection is not reciprocal; in area 36, however, heterotopic projections are organized reciprocally. Contrary to the visual cortex, homotopic and heterotopic projection neurons were equally distributed across the cortical laminae. With double-label experiments it could be shown that a considerable number of the neurons in area 41 bifurcate and project to homotopic as well as to heterotopic sites in the contralateral hemisphere. We conclude that in the AC there are several subtypes of neurons projecting to the contralateral hemisphere; it would be of interest whether these anatomical differences are manifested by physiological differences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase