Auditory cortex projections target the peripheral field representation of primary visual cortex
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The purpose of the present study was to identify projections from auditory to visual cortex and their organization. Retrograde tracers were used to identify the sources of auditory cortical projections to primary visual cortex (areas 17 and 18) in adult cats. Two groups of animals were studied. In the first group, large deposits were centered on the lower visual field representation of the vertical meridian located along the area 17 and 18 border. Following tissue processing, characteristic patterns of cell body labeling were identified in extrastriate visual cortex and the visual thalamus (LGN, MIN, & LPl). In auditory cortex, of the four tonotopically-organized regions, neuronal labeling was identified in the supragranular layers of the posterior auditory field (PAF). Little to no labeling was evident in the primary auditory cortex, the anterior auditory field, the ventral posterior auditory field or in the remaining six non-tonotopically organized regions of auditory cortex. In the second group, small deposits were made into the central or peripheral visual field representations of primary visual cortex. Labeled cells were identified in PAF following deposits into regions of primary visual cortex representing peripheral, but not central, visual field representations. Furthermore, a coarse topography was identified in PAF, with neurons projecting to the upper field representation being located in the gyral portion of PAF and neurons projecting to the lower field representation located in the sulcal portion of PAF. Therefore, direct projections can be identified from tonotopically organized auditory cortex to the earliest stages of visual cortical processing.
KeywordsArea 17 Area 18 Auditory cortex Posterior auditory field WGA-HRP Multisensory Cat
We would like to thank Jeffrey Mellott for assistance with the preparation of the tissue. This research was supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
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