The cortical motor system of the marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus)

Neurosci Res. 2015 Apr;93:72-81. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2014.11.003. Epub 2014 Dec 10.

Abstract

Precise descriptions of the anatomical pathways that link different areas of the cerebral cortex are essential to the understanding of the sensorimotor and association processes that underlie human actions, and their impairment in pathological situations. Many years of research in macaque monkeys have critically shaped how we currently think about cortical motor function in humans. However, it is important to obtain additional understanding about the homologies between cortical areas in human and various non-human primates, and in particular how evolutionary changes in connectivity within specific neural circuits impact on the capacity for different behaviors. Current research has converged on the New World marmoset monkey as an important animal model for cortical function and dysfunction, emphasizing advantages unique to this species. However, the motor repertoire of the marmoset differs from that of the macaque in many ways, including the capacity for skilled use of the hands. Here, we review current knowledge about the cortical frontal areas in marmosets, which are key to the generation and control of motor behaviors, with focus on comparative analyses. We note significant parallels with the macaque monkey, as well as a few potentially important differences, which suggest future directions for work involving architectonic and functional analyses.

Keywords: Connectivity; Evolution; Motor control; Parietal; Premotor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Callithrix / anatomy & histology*
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Motor Neurons / physiology