Efferent connections of the rostral portion of medial agranular cortex in rats

Brain Res Bull. 1987 Aug;19(2):203-21. doi: 10.1016/0361-9230(87)90086-4.


This study of the rostral part of medial agranular cortex (AGm) was undertaken with two principal aims in mind. First, to delineate the efferent connections of AGm and compare these with the pattern of afferents defined by us in a previous study. Second, to provide a firmer basis for anatomical and functional comparisons with cortical regions in monkeys. Autoradiographic, horseradish peroxidase, and fiber degeneration techniques were used. Rostral AGm has a variety of corticocortical connections--with lateral agranular motor cortex (AGl); visual, auditory, and somatic sensory regions; and limbic/paralimbic areas including orbital, insular, perirhinal, entorhinal, retrosplenial and presubicular fields. The projections to orbital, perirhinal and entorhinal cortices are bilateral. Thalamic projections of rostral AGm are concentrated in the ventral lateral, central lateral, paracentral, mediodorsal and ventromedial nuclei. Moderate terminal fields are consistently seen in the reticular, anteromedial, central medial, gelatinosus, parafascicular, and posterior nuclei. More caudal projections reach the central gray, superior colliculus and pontine gray. The efferents of the adjacent AGl were also examined. Although many of these overlapped those of rostral AGm, there were no efferents to visual or auditory cortex and limbic/paralimbic projections were reduced. Thalamic projections were more focused in the ventral lateral and posterior nuclei and there were no terminal fields in the central gray or superior colliculus. Based on its afferent and efferent connections, role in contralateral neglect, and the results of microstimulation studies, rostral AGm can be viewed as a multimodal association area with strong ties to the motor system. On these structural and functional grounds, rostral AGm bears certain striking resemblances to the frontal eye field, supplementary motor, and arcuate premotor areas of monkey cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Synaptic Transmission