A unified framework for the organization of the primate auditory cortex

Front Syst Neurosci. 2013 Apr 30;7:11. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2013.00011. eCollection 2013.


In non-human primates a scheme for the organization of the auditory cortex is frequently used to localize auditory processes. The scheme allows a common basis for comparison of functional organization across non-human primate species. However, although a body of functional and structural data in non-human primates supports an accepted scheme of nearly a dozen neighboring functional areas, can this scheme be directly applied to humans? Attempts to expand the scheme of auditory cortical fields in humans have been severely hampered by a recent controversy about the organization of tonotopic maps in humans, centered on two different models with radically different organization. We point out observations that reconcile the previous models and suggest a distinct model in which the human cortical organization is much more like that of other primates. This unified framework allows a more robust and detailed comparison of auditory cortex organization across primate species including humans.

Keywords: anatomy; auditory cortex; comparative; humans; primate; tonotopy.