Areal differences in the laminar distribution of thalamic afferents in cortical fields of the insular, parietal and temporal regions of primates

The Journal of Comparative Neurology
E G Jones, H Burton


A cytoarchitectonic parcellation has been made of the cortex of the insula and of the adjoining parts of the temporal and parietal lobes in rhesus and squirrel monkeys. In conjunction with this, the intracortical distribution of the thalamo-cortical fibers has been studied by the autoradiographic tracing technique. There is a systematic change in the density, laminar distribution and general character of the intracortical thalamic afferent plexus which seems to follow, in particular, the progressive differentiation of cortical layering that occurs in moving from insular through granular to homotypical cortex. In the dysgranular and granular insular areas in which cortical lamination is indistinct, the thalamic plexus as demonstrated autoradiographically is sparse and extends through much of layers III and IV. In the granular cortex (areas 3b and AI), the thalamic plexus is densest and coarsest; it fills all of layers IV and IIIB and extends into layer IIIA. In the "second" and "third" sensory areas, such as the second somatic sensory and many of the auditory fields, the density of the plexus and its coarseness diminish slightly and the deeper half of layer IV becomes free of terminals. In the homotypical cortex, the plexus beco...Continue Reading


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