Thalamic projections to visual and visuomotor areas (V6 and V6A) in the Rostral Bank of the parieto-occipital sulcus of the Macaque

Michela Gamberini, Sofia Bakola, Lauretta Passarelli, Kathleen J Burman, Marcello G.P. Rosa, Patrizia Fattori, Claudio Galletti

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The medial posterior parietal cortex of the primate brain includes different functional areas, which have been defined based on the functional properties, cyto- and myeloarchitectural criteria, and cortico-cortical connections. Here, we describe the thalamic projections to two of these areas (V6 and V6A), based on 14 retrograde neuronal tracer injections in 11 hemispheres of 9 Macaca fascicularis. The injections were placed either by direct visualisation or using electrophysiological guidance, and the location of injection sites was determined post mortem based on cyto- and myeloarchitectural criteria. We found that the majority of the thalamic afferents to the visual area V6 originate in subdivisions of the lateral and inferior pulvinar nuclei, with weaker inputs originating from the central densocellular, paracentral, lateral posterior, lateral geniculate, ventral anterior and mediodorsal nuclei. In contrast, injections in both the dorsal and ventral parts of the visuomotor area V6A revealed strong inputs from the lateral posterior and medial pulvinar nuclei, as well as smaller inputs from the ventrolateral complex and from the central densocellular, paracentral, and mediodorsal nuclei. These projection patterns are in line with the functional properties of injected areas: dorsal stream extrastriate area V6 receives information from visuotopically organised subdivisions of the thalamus; whereas visuomotor area V6A, which is involved in the sensory guidance of arm movement, receives its primary afferents from thalamic nuclei that provide high-order somatic and visual input.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1573-1589
Number of pages17
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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