The callosal system of the superior parietal lobule in the monkey

J Comp Neurol. 1985 Jul 1;237(1):85-99. doi: 10.1002/cne.902370107.


The callosal connections of the superior parietal lobule, area 5 of Brodmann, were studied in macaque monkeys (M. nemestrina and M. fascicularis) using anatomical techniques based on both anterograde and retrograde axoplasmic transport of wheat-germ-agglutinin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase. From sagittal sections, two-dimensional flattened computer reconstructions of the volumes of cortical tissue containing callosal-projecting neurons (callosal efferent zone) and/or callosal terminal axons (callosal terminal territory) were obtained. Callosal zones were found in area 5, including the supplementary sensory area, in a limited part of area 6, i.e., in the supplementary motor area, in area 7b, in the cortex of the dorsal bank of the sylvian fissure, and in a limited part of area 7a, in the cortex of the upper third of the rostral bank of the superior temporal sulcus. Callosal neurons in all cortical areas studied, though with regional variations, predominated in layer IIIb, but were also very numerous in layers VI and V. They were rare in other cortical laminae. In the cortical regions projecting heterotopically to area 5, the tangential distribution of callosal neurons was discontinuous because of the presence of large acallosal regions. These were not observed in area 5, although here the distribution of callosal neurons waxed and waned in the tangential cortical plane. Callosal axons to and/or from area 5 crossed the midline in the posterior, presplenial part of the corpus callosum. In the superior parietal lobule they terminated in radial patches or columns, spanning layers I-IV. These columns of various width (200-2,000 micron) were separated by gaps of similar size, free of such terminals. Callosal neurons were present not only within, but also between, the callosal terminal columns. Callosal neurons located within the callosal terminal columns were, in a statistically significant way, more numerous than those located between them. The callosal efferent zone occupied 71% of the tangential domain of area 5, whereas the callosal terminal territory occupied only 49% of it. This difference is statistically significant. The discontinuous columnar arrangement of callosal terminals and the periodic distribution of callosal neurons in the lateral part of area 5 defined three main bands of callosal connections of irregular shape which were oriented mediolaterally and ran parallel to the main architectonic borders, the border between areas 2 and 5 and that between 5 and 7.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Corpus Callosum / physiology*
  • Haplorhini / physiology*
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca nemestrina
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Sensation / physiology