Organization of the intrinsic connections of the monkey amygdaloid complex: projections originating in the lateral nucleus

J Comp Neurol. 1998 Aug 31;398(3):431-58. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-9861(19980831)398:3<431::aid-cne9>;2-0.


We have used the anterograde tracer, Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) to study the intrinsic projections of the lateral nucleus of the Macaca fascicularis monkey amygdaloid complex. A reanalysis of the monkey lateral nucleus indicated that there are at least four distinct cytoarchitectonic divisions: dorsal, dorsal intermediate, ventral intermediate, and ventral. The major projections within the lateral nucleus originate in the dorsal, dorsal intermediate, and ventral intermediate divisions and terminate in the ventral division. The ventral division also projects to itself but does not project significantly to the other divisions of the lateral nucleus. Thus, the ventral division appears to be a site of convergence for information entering all other portions of the lateral nucleus. There are substantial regional and topographic differences in the projections from each of the lateral nucleus divisions to other amygdaloid nuclei. The dorsal division projects to all divisions of the basal and accessory basal nuclei, to the periamygdaloid cortex, the nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract, the dorsal division of the amygdalohippocampal area, and the lateral capsular nuclei. The dorsal intermediate division projects to the intermediate and parvicellular divisions of the basal nucleus, to the parvicellular division of the accessory basal nucleus, and to the periamygdaloid cortex. The ventral intermediate division projects to the magnocellular division of the accessory basal nucleus and to the parvicellular division of the basal nucleus. The major projections from the ventral division are directed to the parvicellular division of the basal nucleus, the parvicellular division of the accessory basal nucleus, the medial nucleus, and the periamygdaloid cortex. Projections from all portions of the lateral nucleus to the central nucleus are generally very light. It appears, therefore, that each division of the lateral nucleus originates topographically organized projections to the other amygdaloid areas that terminate in distinct portions of the target regions. The topographic organization of intrinsic amygdaloid projections raises the possibility that serial and parallel sensory processing may take place within the amygdaloid complex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology*
  • Amygdala / physiology
  • Animals
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Tissue Fixation


  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • leukoagglutinins, plants