Contrasting patterns of cortical input to architectural subdivisions of the area 8 complex: a retrograde tracing study in marmoset monkeys

Cereb Cortex. 2013 Aug;23(8):1901-22. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhs177. Epub 2012 Jun 26.


Contemporary studies recognize 3 distinct cytoarchitectural and functional areas within the Brodmann area 8 complex, in the caudal prefrontal cortex: 8b, 8aD, and 8aV. Here, we report on the quantitative characteristics of the cortical projections to these areas, using injections of fluorescent tracers in marmoset monkeys. Area 8b was distinct from both 8aD and 8aV due to its connections with medial prefrontal, anterior cingulate, superior temporal polysensory, and ventral midline/retrosplenial areas. In contrast, areas 8aD and 8aV received the bulk of the projections from posterior parietal cortex and dorsal midline areas. In the frontal lobe, area 8aV received projections primarily from ventrolateral areas, while both 8aD and 8b received dense inputs from areas on the dorsolateral surface. Whereas area 8aD received the most significant auditory projections, these were relatively sparse, in comparison with those previously reported in macaques. Finally, area 8aV was distinct from both 8aD and 8b by virtue of its widespread input from the extrastriate visual areas. These results are compatible with a homologous organization of the prefrontal cortex in New and Old World monkeys, and suggest significant parallels between the present pathways, revealed by tract-tracing, and networks revealed by functional connectivity analysis in Old World monkeys and humans.

Keywords: connections; frontal eye field; parietal cortex; prefrontal cortex; primate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Callithrix
  • Female
  • Male
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology*