In contrast to the well established macaque monkey, little is known about functional connectivity patterns of common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) that is poised to become the leading transgenic primate model. Here, we used resting-state ultra-high-field fMRI data collected from anesthetized marmosets and macaques along with awake human subjects, to examine and compare the brain's functional organization, with emphasis on the saccade system. Exploratory independent component analysis revealed eight resting-state networks in marmosets that greatly overlapped with corresponding macaque and human networks including a distributed frontoparietal network. Seed-region analyses of the superior colliculus (SC) showed homolog areas in macaques and marmosets. The marmoset SC displayed the strongest frontal functional connectivity with area 8aD at the border to area 6DR. Functional connectivity of this frontal region revealed a similar functional connectivity pattern as the frontal eye fields in macaques and humans. Furthermore, areas 8aD, 8aV, PG,TPO, TE2, and TE3 were identified as major hubs based on region-wise evaluation of betweeness centrality, suggesting that these cortical regions make up the functional core of the marmoset brain. The results support an evolutionarily preserved frontoparietal system and provide a starting point for invasive neurophysiological studies in the marmoset saccade and visual systems.
Keywords: frontal eye fields; functional connectivity; oculomotor system; primates; superior colliculus.
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