Ipsilateral cortical connections of granular frontal cortex in the strepsirhine primate Galago, with comparative comments on anthropoid primates


  • Todd M. Preuss,

    1. Section of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510
    2. Department of Anthropology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, 301 Wilson Hall, Nashville, TN 37240
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  • Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic

    1. Section of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510
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Modern studies of granular frontal cortex (GFC) in large-brained, anthropoid primates, such as Macaca, indicate that this region is comprised of many areal subdivisions. These areas vary in their architectonic appearance and each has a distinctive, diverse set of corticocortical connections. The great extent of the GFC region in anthropoids, and its high degree of areal parcellation, suggest that some GFC areas may be specializations of anthropoids, not found in other mammals. To investigate this possibility, we studied the corticocortical connections of GFC in the relatively small-brained, strepsirhine primate Galago, with a series of eight tracer injections in the frontal cortex, and an additional eight injections of parietal and temporal cortex. Tracers used were wheat-germ agglutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase and tritiated amino acid.

Our results indicate that Galago GFC has strong, reciprocal connections with the parietal area-7 complex and with higher-order temporal areas; there are additional connections with extrastriate visual cortex, parahippocampal, and cingulate areas, and frontal cortex. Thus GFC has an extremely diverse array of cortical connections in Galago, as in Macaca. However, we also found that the pattern of parietofrontal connections is simpler in Galago than in Macaca. Specifically, parietal areas project to fewer discrete zones within the GFC of Galago, consistent with the view that these animals have fewer GFC areas than Macaca. In addition, Galago GFC possesses connections that specifically resemble those of Macaca arcuate cortex, but lacks connectional patterns that are characteristic of principals cortex. These results are in accord with our previous architectonic studies, which indicated that Galago does not possess homologues of principalis areas. We conclude that the arcuate areas are common elements of primate GFC organization, while the areas located within and adjacent to the principal sulcus are anthropoid specializations.