, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 268-284

Corticothalamic connections of the superior temporal sulcus in rhesus monkeys

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Summary

The corticothalamic connections of the superior temporal sulcus (STS) were studied by means of the autoradiographic technique. The results indicate that corticothalamic connections of the STS in general reciprocate thalamocortical connections. The cortex of the upper bank of the STS-multimodal areas TPO and PGa-projects to four major thalamic targets: the pulvinar complex, the mediodorsal nucleus, the limitanssuprageniculate nucleus, as well as intralaminar nuclei. Within the pulvinar complex, the main projections of the upper bank of the STS are directed to the medial pulvinar (PM) nucleus. Rostral upper bank regions tend to project caudally and medially within the PM nucleus, caudal upper bank regions, more laterally and ventrally. The mid-portion of the upper bank tends to occupy the central sector of the PM nucleus. There are also relatively minor projections from upper bank regions to the lateral pulvinar (PL) and oral pulvinar (PO) nuclei. In contrast to the upper bank, the projections from the lower bank are directed primarily to the pulvinar complex, with only minor projections to intralaminar nuclei. The rostral portion of the lower bank projects mainly to caudal and medial regions of the PM nucleus, whereas the caudal lower bank projects predominantly to the lateral PM nucleus, and also to the PL, PO, and inferior pulvinar (PI) nuclei. The mid-portion of the lower bank projects mainly to central and lateral portions of the PM nucleus, and also to the PI and PL nuclei. The rostral depth of the STS projects mainly to the PM nucleus, with only minor connections to the PO, PI, and PL nuclei. The midportion of multimodal area TPO of the upper bank, areas TPO2 and TPO3, projects preferentially to the central sector of the PM nucleus. It is possible that this STS-thalamic connectivity has a role in behavior that is dependent upon more than one sensory modality.