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Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: comparative cytoarchitectonic analysis in the human and the macaque brain and corticocortical connection patterns


  • M. Petrides,

    1. Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, 3801 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, H3A2B4 Canada and Department of Psychology, McGill University, 1205 Dr Penfield Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, H3A1B1 Canada
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  • D. N. Pandya

    1. Departments of Anatomy and Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine 02118, and Harvard Neurological Unit, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215 USA
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Dr Michael Petrides, as above.


The cytoarchitecture of the human and the macaque monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex has been examined in a strictly comparative manner in order to resolve major discrepancies between the available segmentations of this cortical region in the human and the monkey brain. In addition, the connections of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortical areas were re-examined in the monkey. The present analysis showed that only a restricted portion of what had previously been labelled as area 46 in the monkey has the same characteristics as area 46 of the human brain; the remaining part of this monkey region has the characteristics of a portion of the middle frontal gyrus in the human brain that had previously been included as part of area 9. We have labelled this cortical area as 9/46 in both species. These two areas (i.e. 46 and 9/46), which constitute the lower half of the mid-dorsolateral frontal cortex, have a well-developed granular layer IV, and can easily be distinguished from area 9, on the upper part of the mid-dorsolateral region, which does not have a well-developed granular layer IV. Area 9 has the same basic pattern of connections as areas 46 and 9/46, but, unlike the latter areas, it does not receive input from the lateral parietal cortex. Caudal to area 9, on the dorsomedial portion of the frontal cortex, there is a distinct strip of cortex (area 8B) which, unlike area 9, receives significant input from the prestriate cortex and the medial parietal cortex. The present results provide a basis for a closer integration of findings from functional neuroimaging studies in human subjects with experimental work in the monkey.

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