Tonotopic organization, architectonic fields, and connections of auditory cortex in macaque monkeys

J Comp Neurol. 1993 Sep 15;335(3):437-59. doi: 10.1002/cne.903350312.


Microelectrode recordings were used to investigate the tonotopic organization of auditory cortex of macaque monkeys and guide the placement of injections of wheat germ agglutinin-horse radish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) and fluorescent dyes. Anatomical and physiological results were later related to histological distinctions in the same brains after sections were processed for cytoarchitecture, myeloarchitecture, acetylcholinesterase (AchE), or cytochrome oxidase (CO). The experiments produced several major findings. (1) Neurons throughout a broad expanse of cortex were highly responsive to pure tones, and best frequencies could be determined for neurons in arrays of recording sites. (2) The microelectrode recordings revealed two systematic representations of tone frequencies, the primary area (AI) and a primary-like rostral field (R) as previously described. The representation of high to low frequency tones in A1 was largely caudorostral along the plane of the sulcus. A reversal of the order of representation of frequencies occurred in R. (3) AI and R together were coextensive with a koniocellular, densely myelinated zone that expressed high levels of AchE and CO. These architectonic features were somewhat less pronounced in R than AI, but a clear border between the two areas was not apparent. (4) Cortex bordering AI and R was less responsive to tones, but when best frequencies for neurons could be determined, they matched those for adjoining parts of AI and R. (5) Architectonically distinct regions were apparent within some of the cortex bordering AI and R. (6) The major ipsilateral cortical connections of AI were with R and cortex immediately lateral and medial to AI. (7) Callosal connections of AI were predominantly with matched locations in the opposite AI, but they also included adjoining fields. (8) Neurons in the ventral (MGV), medial (MGM), and dorsal (MGD) nuclei of the medial geniculate complex projected to AI and cortex lateral to AI. (9) Injections in cortex responsive to high frequency tones labeled more dorsal parts of MGV than injections in cortex responsive to low frequency tones.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Auditory Cortex / enzymology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Microelectrodes
  • Myelin Sheath / ultrastructure
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • Acetylcholinesterase