Cortical Input to the Frontal Pole of the Marmoset Monkey


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Abstract

We used fluorescent tracers to map the pattern of cortical afferents to frontal area 10 in marmosets. Dense projections originated in several subdivisions of orbitofrontal cortex, in the medial frontal cortex (particularly areas 14 and 32), and in the dorsolateral frontal cortex (particularly areas 8Ad and 9). Major projections also stemmed, in variable proportions depending on location of the injection site, from both the inferior and superior temporal sensory association areas, suggesting a degree of audiovisual convergence. Other temporal projections included the superior temporal polysensory cortex, temporal pole, and parabelt auditory cortex. Medial area 10 received additional projections from retrosplenial, rostral calcarine, and parahippocampal areas, while lateral area 10 received small projections from the ventral somatosensory and premotor areas. There were no afferents from posterior parietal or occipital areas. Most frontal connections were balanced in terms of laminar origin, giving few indications of an anatomical hierarchy. The pattern of frontopolar afferents suggests an interface between high-order representations of the sensory world and internally generated states, including working memory, which may subserve ongoing evaluation of the consequences of decisions as well as other cognitive functions. The results also suggest the existence of functional differences between subregions of area 10.

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