Prefrontostriatal connections in relation to cortical architectonic organization in rhesus monkeys

J Comp Neurol. 1991 Oct 1;312(1):43-67. doi: 10.1002/cne.903120105.


Prefrontostriatal connections were investigated in rhesus monkeys using the autoradiographic technique to examine whether there are systematic relationships with regard to the architectonic organization of the prefrontal cortex. On the basis of progressive laminar elaboration, the different regions of the prefrontal cortex can be grouped into two architectonic trends. The dorsal trend, which begins in the medial proisocortical areas, can be followed through the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, culminating in the dorsal arcuate region. The ventral trend, which originates in the orbital proisocortex, can be traced through the inferior prefrontal convexity to the ventral arcuate region. The results show that the main connections from the prefrontal cortex to the striatum are to the head and body of the caudate nucleus. These connections are topographically organized. Medial and dorsal prefrontal areas project predominantly to the dorsal and central portion of the head and body of the caudate nucleus, whereas orbital and inferior prefrontal areas are related mainly to the ventral and central portion. Moreover, prefrontostriatal connections have a medial-lateral topography. Medial and orbital prefrontal areas project medially in the head and body of the caudate nucleus, whereas the dorsal and ventral arcuate regions project laterally, adjacent to the internal capsule. The prefrontal regions above and below the principal sulcus project mainly to the intermediate sector of the head and body of the nucleus. However, there appears to be some degree of overlap of corticostriatal projections from the dorsal and ventral prefrontal regions, as well as within each trend. Relatively minor projections are directed to the putamen as well as to the tail of the caudate nucleus from certain subregions of the prefrontal cortex. Thus the distribution of prefrontostriatal connections seems to reflect the architectonic organization of the prefrontal cortex. Possible functional aspects of prefrontostriatal connectivity are considered in the light of behavioral and physiological studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Brain Mapping
  • Caudate Nucleus / anatomy & histology
  • Caudate Nucleus / physiology
  • Corpus Striatum / anatomy & histology*
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Macaca mulatta / anatomy & histology*
  • Macaca mulatta / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Putamen / anatomy & histology
  • Putamen / physiology