Visual stimulus-driven functional organization of macaque prefrontal cortex

Neuroimage. 2019 Mar;188:427-444. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.11.060. Epub 2018 Dec 3.


The extent to which the major subdivisions of prefrontal cortex (PFC) can be functionally partitioned is unclear. In approaching the question, it is often assumed that the organization is task dependent. Here we use fMRI to show that PFC can respond in a task-independent way, and we leverage these responses to uncover a stimulus-driven functional organization. The results were generated by mapping the relative location of responses to faces, bodies, scenes, disparity, color, and eccentricity in four passively fixating macaques. The results control for individual differences in functional architecture and provide the first account of a systematic visual stimulus-driven functional organization across PFC. Responses were focused in dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC), in the ventral prearcuate region; and in ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC), extending into orbital PFC. Face patches were in the VLPFC focus and were characterized by a striking lack of response to non-face stimuli rather than an especially strong response to faces. Color-biased regions were near but distinct from face patches. One scene-biased region was consistently localized with different contrasts and overlapped the disparity-biased region to define the DLPFC focus. All visually responsive regions showed a peripheral visual-field bias. These results uncover an organizational scheme that presumably constrains the flow of information about different visual modalities into PFC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Color Perception / physiology
  • Facial Recognition / physiology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Prefrontal Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*