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Architectural subdivisions of medial and orbital frontal cortices in the marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus)



Although the common marmoset has become a model for the study of several neurological conditions that affect the frontal lobe, knowledge of the boundaries of the areas located in the orbital and medial frontal regions has remained incomplete. Here we examined histological sections stained for myelin, Nissl substance, and cytochrome oxidase, allowing identification of likely homologues of most of the architectural fields defined in Old World monkeys. Ventrally, we identified three granular fields at or near the frontal pole (area 10, and the medial and lateral subregions of area 11), and two granular fields along the lateral margin of the orbitofrontal cortex (medial and orbital subdivisions of area 12). More caudal and medially, dysgranular and agranular cortices included four subdivisions of area 13 as well as rostral and caudal subdivisions of area 14 (at the ventromedial convexity). The ventral frontotemporal transition encompassed at least two subdivisions of agranular insular cortex, as well as the likely homologues of the gustatory cortices. Most of the medial surface was encompassed by area 10 (which projected a caudomedial finger-like extension toward the subgenual cortex), together with a relatively large dysgranular area 32 and an agranular area 25 (in subgenual cortex). Finally, the caudal limit of the medial frontal cortex included two fields of agranular cingulate cortex (areas 24a and 24b). These findings enhance our understanding of the architectural organization of the marmoset frontal cortex and highlight a highly conserved basic organization across simian primates, allowing the informed interpretation of experimental neurological studies. J. Comp. Neurol. 514:11–29, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.