Corticocortical connections of anatomically and physiologically defined subdivisions within the inferior parietal lobule

J Comp Neurol. 1990 Jun 1;296(1):65-113. doi: 10.1002/cne.902960106.


The anatomical and functional organization of the inferior parietal lobule was investigated in macaque monkeys by using anterograde and retrograde anatomical tracing techniques and single cell recording techniques in awake, behaving monkeys. The connections of areas 7a and 7b, and of two previously unexplored areas, the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) and the dorsal prelunate area (DP), were examined in detail. Functional mapping experiments were performed in all four areas. Prior to this study the pathways for visual input to area 7a were unclear. In these experiments we found several direct projections from extrastriate visual areas, including the lateral intraparietal (LIP), dorsal prelunate (DP), parieto-occipital (PO), and medial superior temporal (MST) areas into area 7a. Using the observed laminar patterns of connections between areas 7a, LIP, and DP and other extrastriate cortical areas, we were able to construct a hypothetical flow of visual information processing from striate cortex to area 7a. A broader hierarchy was also produced, which relates the positions of areas 7a, 7b, LIP, and DP to various cortical fields in the parietal, temporal, and frontal lobes. By combining single cell recording techniques in trained monkeys with anatomical tracing techniques, we have parceled the inferior parietal lobule into several subdivisions on the basis of both anatomical and physiological grounds. A clear segregation of visual and somatosensory responses was found in the inferior parietal lobule with areas 7a, LIP, and DP being visual and visual-motor and area 7b being primarily somatosensory. A similar segregation was found anatomically with areas 7a, LIP, and DP being interconnected primarily with other visual cortical areas and area 7b being connected with several somatosensory areas. Area 7b was also found to connect to a few visual cortical areas, and these connections likely account for the small but consistent number of visually responsive cells that are found in this region. Areas LIP, DP, and 7a differed in receptive field and saccade-related properties. Area 7a visual receptive fields were very large and usually bilateral with a small but significant number of them having receptive field centers in the ipsilateral visual field. Area DP and LIP receptive fields were smaller and the receptive field peaks were almost always confined to the contralateral visual field. Areas 7a, DP, and LIP all contained cells with saccade-related responses; however, in area 7a there were fewer saccade cells than area LIP, and presaccadic responses were only observed in area LIP.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Macaca / anatomy & histology
  • Macaca / physiology*
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*