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Anatomical study of the connections of the primary auditory area in the rat.

  • Roger, M
  • Arnault, P
Published Article
The Journal of comparative neurology
Publication Date
Sep 15, 1989
PMID: 2778109


The aim of the present study was to identify in the rat the overall input-output pattern of connections of the primary auditory field, with special attention to the topographical organization of the geniculocortical auditory projection. By using cytoarchitectural criteria, three temporal cortical fields were distinguished in the rat: Te1, Te2, and Te3. The primary auditory field Te1 is characterized by a relatively specific differentiation of its layers when compared with other temporal fields. The afferent and efferent connections of Te1 were identified by using the retrograde and anterograde transport of wheat germ agglutinin conjugated with horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP). The results indicate that Te1 is connected by a dense and reciprocal system of fibers with the auditory thalamus. Based on the nomenclature of Morest ('64) in the cat, five cytoarchitectural subdivisions of the medial geniculate complex (MG) were identified in the rat: ventral (MGv), dorsal (MGd), medial (MGm), suprageniculate (Sg), and peripeduncular (PPA). The major rostrocaudal extent of the MGv is connected to Te1. The surrounding cortical fields Te2 and Te3 do not receive a projection from the MGv, except from its most caudal pole. The MGv projection is topographically organized. When the deposit area of the tracer is shifted from dorsal to ventral upon Te1, the corresponding labeled zone within the MGv moves from rostral to caudal, whereas a cortical displacement of the deposit area of the tracer from rostrodorsal to caudoventral leads to a medial to lateral shift of the labeled zone in the MGv. In addition, more dorsal parts of the MGv project on more dorsal sectors of Te1. Te1 receives a sparser, topographically organized projection from the deep dorsal subdivision of the MGd. The MGm and the lateral part of the posterior group of thalamic nuclei (Pol) also distribute fibers to the primary auditory field. Te1 is reciprocally connected by a system of callosal fibers with the contralateral homotypic cortex. Finally, Te1 sends fibers to the dorsal and, to a lesser extent, external cortices of the inferior colliculus, caudomedial caudate-putamen complex, and caudoventral thalamic reticular nucleus.

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