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Keywords:

  • comparative;
  • primate;
  • neuroanatomy;
  • neurolinguistics;
  • language;
  • imaging;
  • evolution;
  • acetylcholinesterase;
  • myelin

Abstract

The goal of the present study was to determine whether the architectonic criteria used to identify the core region in macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta, M. nemestrina) could be used to identify a homologous region in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and humans (Homo sapiens). Current models of auditory cortical organization in primates describe a centrally located core region containing two or three subdivisions including the primary auditory area (AI), a surrounding belt of cortex with perhaps seven divisions, and a lateral parabelt region comprised of at least two fields. In monkeys the core region can be identified on the basis of specific anatomical and physiological features. In this study, the core was identified from serial sets of adjacent sections processed for cytoarchitecture, myeloarchitecture, acetylcholinesterase, and cytochrome oxidase. Qualitative and quantitative criteria were used to identify the borders of the core region in individual sections. Serial reconstructions of each brain were made showing the location of the core with respect to gross anatomical landmarks. The position of the core with respect to major sulci and gyri in the superior temporal region varied most in the chimpanzee and human specimens. Although the architectonic appearance of the core areas did vary in certain respects across taxonomic groups, the numerous similarities made it possible to identify unambiguously a homologous cortical region in macaques, chimpanzees, and humans. J. Comp. Neurol. 441:197–222, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.