Cortical connections of parietal field PEc in the macaque: linking vision and somatic sensation for the control of limb action

Sofia Bakola, Michela Gamberini, Lauretta Passarelli, Patrizia Fattori, Claudio Galletti

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The cortical projections to the caudal part of the superior parietal lobule (area PEc) were studied in 6 cynomolgus monkeys using fluorescence tracers. Significant numbers of labeled cells were found in a restricted network of parietal, mesial, and frontal areas. Quantitative analysis demonstrated that approximately 30 of the total projection neurons originated in the adjacent areas of the dorsocaudal part of the superior parietal lobule (areas PE and V6A). The medial bank of the intraparietal sulcus, inferior parietal lobule, and frontal lobe (mainly the dorsocaudal part of premotor area F2) each contributed approximately 15 of the projection neurons. About 15 of the labeled neurons were located in the posterior cingulate area (PEci) and another 10 in other areas of the mesial surface of the hemisphere. Based on these data, we suggest that PEc processes information about the position of the limbs. The specific anatomical links between PEc and motor and premotor areas that host a representation of the lower limbs, together with the link with vestibular cortex and with areas involved in the analysis of optic flow and spatial navigation, imply a role for PEc in locomotion and coordinated limb movement in the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2592 - 2604
Number of pages13
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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