Auditory corticocortical interconnections in the cat: evidence for parallel and hierarchical arrangement of the auditory cortical areas

Exp Brain Res. 1991;86(3):483-505. doi: 10.1007/BF00230523.


The origin and laminar arrangement of the homolateral and callosal projections to the anterior (AAF), primary (AI), posterior (PAF) and secondary (AII) auditory cortical areas were studied in the cat by means of electrophysiological recording and WGA-HRP tracing techniques. The transcallosal projections to AAF, AI, PAF and AII were principally homotypic since the major source of input was their corresponding area in the contralateral cortex. Heterotypic transcallosal projections to AAF and AI were seen, originating from the contralateral AI and AAF, respectively. PAF received heterotypic commissural projections from the opposite ventroposterior auditory cortical field (VPAF). Heterotypic callosal inputs to AII were rare, originating from AAF and AI. The neurons of origin of the transcallosal connections were located mainly in layers II and III (70-92%), and less frequently in deep layers (V and VI, 8-30%). Single unit recordings provided evidence that both homotypic and heterotypic transcallosal projections connect corresponding frequency regions of the two hemispheres. The regional distribution of the anterogradely labeled terminals indicated that the homotypic and heterotypic auditory transcallosal projections are reciprocal. The present data suggest that the transcallosal auditory interconnections are segregated in 3 major parallel components (AAF-AI, PAF-VPAF and AII), maintaining a segregation between parallel functional channels already established for the thalamocortical auditory interconnections. For the intrahemispheric connections, the analysis of the retrograde tracing data revealed that AAF and AI receive projections from the homolateral cortical areas PAF, VPAF and AII, whose neurons of origin were located mainly in their deep (V and VI) cortical layers. The reciprocal interconnections between the homolateral AAF and AI did not show a preferential laminar arrangement since the neurons of origin were distributed almost evenly in both superficial (II and III) and deep (V and VI) cortical layers. On the contrary, PAF received inputs from the homolateral cortical fields AAF, AI, AII and VPAF, originating predominantly from their superficial (II and III) layers. The homolateral projections reaching AII originated mainly from the superficial layers of AAF and AI, but from the deep layers of VPAF and PAF. The laminar distribution of anterogradely labeled terminal fields, when they were dense enough for a confident identification, was systematically related to the laminar arrangement of neurons of origin of the reciprocal projection: a projection originating from deep layers was associated with a reciprocal projection terminating mainly in layer IV, whereas a projection originating from superficial layers was associated with a reciprocal projection terminating predominantly outside layer IV.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Auditory Cortex / cytology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Corpus Callosum / cytology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


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