Auditory belt and parabelt projections to the prefrontal cortex in the rhesus monkey

J Comp Neurol. 1999 Jan 11;403(2):141-57. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-9861(19990111)403:2<141::aid-cne1>;2-v.


Recent anatomical and electrophysiological studies have expanded our knowledge of the auditory cortical system in primates and have described its organization as a series of concentric circles with a central or primary auditory core, surrounded by a lateral and medial belt of secondary auditory cortex with a tertiary parabelt cortex just lateral to this belt. Because recent studies have shown that rostral and caudal belt and parabelt cortices have distinct patterns of connections and acoustic responsivity, we hypothesized that these divergent auditory regions might have distinct targets in the frontal lobe. We, therefore, placed discrete injections of wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase or fluorescent retrograde tracers into the prefrontal cortex of macaque monkeys and analyzed the anterograde and retrograde labeling in the aforementioned auditory areas. Injections that included rostral and orbital prefrontal areas (10, 46 rostral, 12) labeled the rostral belt and parabelt most heavily, whereas injections including the caudal principal sulcus (area 46), periarcuate cortex (area 8a), and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (area12vl) labeled the caudal belt and parabelt. Projections originating in the parabelt cortex were denser than those arising from the lateral or medial belt cortices in most cases. In addition, the anterior third of the superior temporal gyrus and the dorsal bank of the superior temporal sulcus were also labeled after prefrontal injections, confirming previous studies. The present topographical results suggest that acoustic information diverges into separate streams that target distinct rostral and caudal domains of the prefrontal cortex, which may serve different acoustic functions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Auditory Cortex / cytology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology
  • Axonal Transport
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Macaca mulatta / anatomy & histology*
  • Macaca mulatta / physiology
  • Neural Pathways
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / cytology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate