Reconsidering the Border between the Visual and Posterior Parietal Cortex of Mice

Cereb Cortex. 2021 Feb 5;31(3):1675-1692. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhaa318.

Abstract

The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) contributes to multisensory and sensory-motor integration, as well as spatial navigation. Based on primate studies, the PPC is composed of several subdivisions with differing connection patterns, including areas that exhibit retinotopy. In mice the composition of the PPC is still under debate. We propose a revised anatomical delineation in which we classify the higher order visual areas rostrolateral area (RL), anteromedial area (AM), and Medio-Medial-Anterior cortex (MMA) as subregions of the mouse PPC. Retrograde and anterograde tracing revealed connectivity, characteristic for primate PPC, with sensory, retrosplenial, orbitofrontal, cingulate and motor cortex, as well as with several thalamic nuclei and the superior colliculus in the mouse. Regarding cortical input, RL receives major input from the somatosensory barrel field, while AM receives more input from the trunk, whereas MMA receives strong inputs from retrosplenial, cingulate, and orbitofrontal cortices. These input differences suggest that each posterior PPC subregion may have a distinct function. Summarized, we put forward a refined cortical map, including a mouse PPC that contains at least 6 subregions, RL, AM, MMA and PtP, MPta, LPta/A. These anatomical results set the stage for a more detailed understanding about the role that the PPC and its subdivisions play in multisensory integration-based behavior in mice.

Keywords: anterograde tracing; cortical map; posterior parietal cortex; retrograde tracing; visual cortex.