SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • amygdala;
  • anterograde tracer;
  • frontal cortex;
  • functional organization;
  • primate;
  • temporal cortex

Abstract

The present study investigated the intrinsic connections of the basal and accessory basal nuclei of the Macaca fascicularis monkey by means of the anterograde tracers Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) and biotinylated dextran amine (BDA). Analysis of the intranuclear connections of the basal nucleus indicates that there are five modules: dorsal, intermediate, ventral lateral, ventral medial and periamygdaloid sulcal cortex. The dorsal division projects to the intermediate division. Laterally, the intermediate division projects to the ventral lateral division and dorsal parts of the ventral medial division. Ventrally, the ventral lateral division projects to the ventral medial division and periamygdaloid sulcal cortex, which appears to constitute a medial extension of the basal nucleus onto the cortical surface of the amygdala. Medially, the ventral medial division projects to the intermediate and dorsal divisions. Thus, the connections between these modules form functional microcolumns within the nucleus with distinct patterns of information flow that are dorsal to ventral laterally, lateral to medial ventrally, and ventral to dorsal medially. Observations on the intranuclear connections of the accessory basal nucleus suggest that they are organized into two relatively distinct domains: the dorsal division projects to the ventral division and the ventral division projects primarily to the ventromedial division. Projections to other amygdaloid areas originate in select divisions of the basal and accessory basal nuclei, and are topographically distributed. The organization of intrinsic connections of the basal nuclei correlates with specific amygdalo-cortical connections and suggests that extensive convergence of information takes place within the amygdala, which potentially influences activity at both the temporal and parietal pathways and hippocampal fields.