Prefrontal connections of the parabelt auditory cortex in macaque monkeys

Brain Res. 1999 Jan 30;817(1-2):45-58. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(98)01182-2.


In the present study, we determined connections of three newly defined regions of auditory cortex with regions of the frontal lobe, and how two of these regions in the frontal lobe interconnect and connect to other portions of frontal cortex and the temporal lobe in macaque monkeys. We conceptualize auditory cortex as including a core of primary areas, a surrounding belt of auditory areas, a lateral parabelt of two divisions, and adjoining regions of temporal cortex with parabelt connections. Injections of several different fluorescent tracers and wheat germ agglutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) were placed in caudal (CPB) and rostral (RPB) divisions of the parabelt, and in cortex of the superior temporal gyrus rostral to the parabelt with parabelt connections (STGr). Injections were also placed in two regions of the frontal lobe that were labeled by a parabelt injection in the same case. The results lead to several major conclusions. First, CPB injections label many neurons in dorsal prearcuate cortex in the region of the frontal eye field and neurons in dorsal prefrontal cortex of the principal sulcus, but few or no neurons in orbitofrontal cortex. Fine-grain label in these same regions as a result of a WGA-HRP injection suggests that the connections are reciprocal. Second, RPB injections label overlapping prearcuate and principal sulcus locations, as well as more rostral cortex of the principal sulcus, and several locations in orbitofrontal cortex. Third, STGr injections label locations in orbitofrontal cortex, some of which overlap those of RPB injections, but not prearcuate or principal sulcus locations. Fourth, injections in prearcuate and principal sulcus locations labeled by a CPB injection labeled neurons in CPB and RPB, with little involvement of the auditory belt and no involvement of the core. In addition, the results indicated that the two frontal lobe regions are densely interconnected. They also connect with largely separate regions of the frontal pole and more medial premotor and dorsal prefrontal cortex, but not with the extensive orbitofrontal region which has RPB and STGr connections. The results suggest that both RPB and CPB provide the major auditory connections with the region related to directing eye movements towards stimuli of interest, and the dorsal prefrontal cortex for working memory. Other auditory connections to these regions of the frontal lobe appear to be minor. RPB has connections with orbitofrontal cortex, important in psychosocial and emotional functions, while STGr primarily connects with orbital and polar prefrontal cortex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Macaca nemestrina
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate


  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate