Cortical connections between rat cingulate cortex and visual, motor, and postsubicular cortices

J Comp Neurol. 1983 May 10;216(2):192-210. doi: 10.1002/cne.902160207.


The connections of rat cingulate cortex with visual, motor, and postsubicular cortices were investigated with retrograde and anterograde tracing techniques. In addition, connections between visual and the postsubicular (area 48) and parasubicular (area 49) cortices were evaluated with the same techniques. The following conclusions were drawn. Area 29 connections: Afferents to area 29 originate mainly from cingulate areas 24 and 25, visual cortex (primarily area 18b), motor cortex area 8, area 11 of frontal cortex, areas 48 and 49, and the subiculum. Efferent connections of area 29 within cingulate cortex and to visual areas differ for each cytoarchitectural subdivision of area 29. Thus, area 29c has limited projections both within cingulate cortex and to areas 48 and 49, while area 29d projects to these areas as well as to area 8, area 18b, and medial area 17. These visual cortex afferents originate mainly from layer V neurons of areas 29b and 29d, while areas 29a and 29c have virtually no projections to visual cortex. Area 24 connections: Afferents to area 24 originate primary from cingulate areas 25 and 29 and visual area 18b and medial area 17. Efferent projections of area 24a are distributed within cingulate cortex, while area 24b has more extensive projections to posterior cingulate and visual cortices. Area 24b is the cingulate subdivision which is both the primary recipient of visual cortex afferents as well as the source of most of the projections of anterior cingulate cortex to visual areas. Visual cortex has reciprocal connections with parts of the postsubicular and parasubicular cortices. Neurons of the internal pyramidal cell layer of both areas 48 and 49 project to areas 17 and 18b, while layers I and III of these parahippocampal areas receive projections from areas 17 and 8b. In conclusion, areas 29d have particularly extensive interconnections with visual cortex, while area 29d also maintains projections to area 8 of motor cortex. This connection scheme supports the view that cingulate cortex may have a role in feature extraction from the sensory environment, as well as in sensorimotor integration. Finally, the postsubiculum may be classified as a limbic association cortex in which extensive visual and cingulate efferents converge.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Gyrus Cinguli / anatomy & histology
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sensation / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology