Topography of projections to posterior cortical areas from the macaque frontal eye fields

J Comp Neurol. 1995 Mar 6;353(2):291-305. doi: 10.1002/cne.903530210.


Frontal eye field (FEF) projections to posterior cortical areas were mapped by autoradiography of tritiated amino acids (Leu, Pro) in six macaque monkeys. In three monkeys, the large saccade part of the FEF (IFEF) was identified by microstimulation and injected with tracers. In a fourth monkey, the small saccade part of the FEF (sFEF) was identified by microstimulation and injected with tracer. Tracer injections were placed into the sFEF region of two other monkeys using anatomical landmarks. The IFEF and sFEF generally had distinct and largely segregated projections to posterior cortical areas, and the overall pattern of labeling in visual areas with established topology indicates that IFEF neurons preferentially project to areas having large and eccentric receptive fields, whereas sFEF neurons project to areas having smaller, more centrally located fields. The terminal fields from the sFEF were more widespread than those from IFEF. Projections from sFEF terminated in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP), the ventral intraparietal area (VIP), and the parietal part of visual area V3A, in the fundus of the superior temporal visual area (FST), the middle temporal area (MT), the medial superior temporal area (MST), the temporal part of visual area V4, the inferior temporal area (IT), and the temporal-occipital area (TEO) and in occipital visual areas V2, V3, and V4. Projections from IFEF terminated in parietal areas 7a, LIP, and VIP and the medial part of parietal area PE; in temporal areas MST and the superior temporal polysensory area (STP); and in occipital area V2 and posterior cingulate area 23b. Projections from IFEF and sFEF appeared to terminate in different parts of common target areas in MST, LIP, and V2. The topography of IFEF and sFEF projections to LIP suggests that this posterior eye field may also be organized by saccade amplitude. Most terminal labeling from FEF injections was bilaminar to layers I and V/VI, but labeling in area LIP, area MT, the medial part of area PE, and area 23b was columnar-form to all layers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Macaca fascicularis / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta / physiology*
  • Saccades / physiology
  • Visual Fields / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology