Overlapping projections to the amygdala and striatum from auditory processing areas of the thalamus and cortex

Neurosci Lett. 1991 Dec 16;134(1):139-44. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(91)90526-y.


The purpose of this study was to advance our understanding of the anatomical organization of sensory projections to the amygdala, and specifically to identify potential interactions within the amygdala between thalamic and cortical sensory projections of a single sensory modality. Thus, interconnections between the amygdala and acoustic processing areas of the thalamus and cortex were examined in the rat using WGA-HRP as an anterograde and a retrograde axonal tracer. Injections placed in medial aspects of the medial geniculate body (MGB) produced anterograde transport to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala and to adjacent areas of the striatum. Injections of primary auditory cortex (TE1) produced no transport to amygdala. In contrast, injections ventral to TE1 involving TE3 and perirhinal periallocortex (PRh) produced anterograde transport in the subcortical forebrain that was indistinguishable from that produced by the MGB injections. The TE3 and PRh injections also resulted in retrograde transport to primary auditory cortex and to MGB, thus confirming the involvement of these ventral cortical areas in auditory functions. Injections of the lateral nucleus of the amygdala resulted in retrograde transport back to the medial areas of MGB and to temporal cortical areas PRh, TE3, and the ventral most part of TE1. Thus, auditory processing regions of the thalamus and cortex give rise to overlapping (possibly convergent) projections to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. These projections may allow diverse auditory signals to act on common ensembles of amygdaloid neurons and may therefore play a role in the integration of sensory messages leading to emotional reactions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology*
  • Amygdala / physiology
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology
  • Auditory Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Corpus Striatum / anatomy & histology*
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology
  • Emotions / physiology
  • Geniculate Bodies / anatomy & histology*
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains