Functional connectivity of the frontal eye fields in humans and macaque monkeys investigated with resting-state fMRI

J Neurophysiol. 2012 May;107(9):2463-74. doi: 10.1152/jn.00891.2011. Epub 2012 Feb 1.


Although the frontal eye field (FEF) has been identified in macaque monkeys and humans, practical constraints related to invasiveness and task demands have limited a direct cross-species comparison of its functional connectivity. In this study, we used resting-state functional MRI data collected from both awake humans and anesthetized macaque monkeys to examine and compare the functional connectivity of the FEF. A seed region analysis revealed consistent ipsilateral functional connections of the FEF with fronto-parietal cortical areas across both species. These included the intraparietal sulcus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and supplementary eye fields. The analysis also revealed greater lateralization of connectivity with the FEF in both hemispheres in humans than in monkeys. Cortical surface-based transformation of connectivity maps between species further corroborated the remarkably similar organization of the FEF functional connectivity. The results support an evolutionarily preserved fronto-parietal system and provide a bridge for linking data from monkey and human studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Macaca
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Male
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Visual Fields / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*