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Keywords:

  • anterior thalamic nuclei;
  • area 23b;
  • medial pulvinar;
  • nucleus lateralis posterior;
  • retrosplenial cortex

Abstract

Previous functional studies suggest that the posterior cingulate gyrus is involved in spatial memory and its posteroventral part, in particular, is also involved in auditory memory. However, it is not clear whether the neural connections of the posteroventral part differ from those of the rest of the posterior cingulate gyrus. Here, we describe the thalamic connections of the posteroventral part of monkey area 23b (pv-area 23b), the main component of the posteroventral posterior cingulate gyrus. We compare these thalamic connections with those of the more dorsal area 23b (d-area 23b) and of adjoining retrosplenial areas 29 and 30. Thalamocortical projections to pv-area 23b originate mainly from the anterior nuclei, nucleus lateralis posterior and medial pulvinar. In contrast, projections to d-area 23b originate from the nucleus lateralis posterior, medial pulvinar, nucleus centralis latocellularis, mediodorsal nucleus and nucleus ventralis anterior and lateralis and weakly from the anterior nuclei. Projections to retrosplenial areas 29 and 30 originate from the anterior nuclei. Corticothalamic projections from pv-area 23b terminate in the anterior and laterodorsal nuclei, nucleus lateralis posterior and medial pulvinar. Projections from d-area 23b terminate in these nuclei as well as the nucleus ventralis anterior and lateralis. Projections from area 30 terminate mainly in the anterior nuclei and, to a lesser extent, in the medial pulvinar. These results show that the connections of pv-area 23b differ from those of d-area 23b or areas 29 and 30. This suggests that pv-area 23b may play distinct functional roles in memory processes, such as spatial and auditory memory.