Anatomical evidence for medial pulvinar connections with the posterior cingulate cortex, the retrosplenial area, and the posterior parahippocampal gyrus in monkeys

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Abstract

Reciprocal connections between the medial pulvinar and the limbic neocortex in monkeys were demonstrated by means of tritiated amino acid injections in the medial pulvinar and the cingulate cortex, and HRP injections in the medial pulvinar. It appears that the medial nucleus of the pulvinar sends projection fibres to the posterior cingulate gyrus (area 23), the retrosplenial area, and the posterior parahippocampal gyrus (areas TH and TF). The labeled terminals were concentrated in two bands, one in the deeper part of layer III and in layer IV, and the other in layer I. These projections were observed to be reciprocal, and the cortical afferent fibers to the medial pulvinar were found to originate from the deep layers of the cortex.

The medial nucleus of the pulvinar was already known to be connected with the prefrontal cortex and with the inferior parietal lobule. Since this nucleus is now demonstrated to be connected with the posterior limbic neocortex, it is envisaged as being the thalamic counterpart of a cortical triad (prefrontal, parietal, and limbic) involved in modulating directed attention.

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