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Keywords:

  • amygdaloid complex;
  • amygdalo-cortical projections;
  • monkey;
  • cortical afferents;
  • autoradiography;
  • neocortex

Abstract

Amygdalo-cortical projections were analyzed in the macaque monkey (Macaca fascicularis) in a series of experiments in which 3H-amino acids were injected into each of the major divisions of the amygdaloid complex and the anterogradely transported label was demonstrated autoradiographically. Projections to widespread regions of frontal, insular, temporal, and occipital cortices have been observed. The heaviest projections to frontal cortex terminated in medial and orbital regions which included areas 24, 25, and 32 on the medial surface and areas 14, 13a, and 12 on the orbital surface. Lighter projections were also seen in areas 45, 46, 6, 9, and 10. The heaviest projection to the insula terminated in the agranular insular cortex with a decreasing gradient of innervation to the more caudally placed dysgranular and granular insular areas. The projection to this region continues around the dorsal limiting sulcus to terminate in the somatosensory fields 3, 1–2, and SII. Essentially all major divisions of the temporal neocortex receive a projection from the amygdaloid complex with the most prominent projections ending in the cortex of the temporal pole (area TG) and the perirhinal cortex. The entire rostrocaudal extent of the inferotemporal cortex (areas TE and TEO) is also in receipt of an amygdaloid projection. While the rostral superior temporal gyrus (area TA) is heavily labeled in several of the experiments (with light labeling continuing into AI and adjacent auditory association regions) there was little indication of labeling in the caudal reaches of area TA. There was a surprisingly strong projection to prestriate regions of the occipital lobe and, in at least one case, clear-cut labeling in areas OB and 17. Labeling in the parietal cortex was primarily observed in the depths of the intraparietal sulcus. In all cortical fields, label was heaviest at the border between layers I and II and in some regions layers V and VI also had above background levels of silver grains.