Anatomic organization of basoventral and mediodorsal visual recipient prefrontal regions in the rhesus monkey

J Comp Neurol. 1988 Oct 15;276(3):313-42. doi: 10.1002/cne.902760302.


The sources of ipsilateral cortical afferent projections to basoventral and mediodorsal prefrontal cortices that receive some visual input were studied with retrograde tracers (horseradish peroxidase or fluorescent dyes) in eight rhesus monkeys. The basoventral regions injected with tracers included basal (orbital) areas 11 and 12, lateral area 12, and ventral area 46. The mediodorsal regions included portions of medial area 32 and the caudal part of dorsal area 8. These sites represent areas within basoventral and mediodorsal prefrontal cortices that show a gradual increase in architectonic differentiation in a direction from the least differentiated orbital and medial limbic cortices toward the most differentiated cortices in the arcuate concavity. The results showed that the visual input to basoventral and mediodorsal prefrontal cortices originated largely in topographically distinct visual areas. Thus, basoventral sites received most of their visual cortical projections from the inferior temporal cortex. The rostral inferior temporal region was the predominant source of visual projections to orbital prefrontal sites, whereas lateral area 12 and ventral area 46 also received projections which were found more caudally. In contrast, mediodorsal prefrontal sites received most of their visual projections from dorsolateral and dorsomedial visual areas. The cells of origin were located in rostromedial visual cortices after injection of retrograde tracers in area 32 and in more caudal medial and dorsolateral visual areas after injection in caudal area 8. The latter also received substantial projections from visuomotor regions in the caudal portion of the lateral bank of the intraparietal sulcus. These results suggest that the basoventral prefrontal cortices are connected with ventral visual areas implicated in pattern recognition and discrimination, whereas the mediodorsal cortices are connected with medial and dorsolateral occipital and parietal areas associated with visuospatial functions. In addition, the prefrontal areas studied received projections from auditory and/or somatosensory cortices, from areas associated with more than one modality, and from limbic regions. Orbital area 12 seemed to be a major target of projections from somatosensory cortices and the rostral portion of medial area 32 received substantial projections from auditory cortices. The least architectonically differentiated areas (orbital area 11 and medial area 32) had more widespread corticocortical connections, including strong links with limbic cortices.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Eye Movements
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology*
  • Frontal Lobe / cytology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Macaca / anatomy & histology*
  • Macaca mulatta / anatomy & histology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Pathways / cytology


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Horseradish Peroxidase