Topographic distribution of connections from the primary motor cortex to the corpus striatum in Aotus trivirgatus


Connections between the primary motor cortex (MI) and the corpus striatum were studied in the owl monkey. Representations of specific body movements were elicited in MI by microstimulation techniques, and the efferent projections from these stimulation sites were labeled with wheat germ agglutinin‐horseradish peroxidase conjugate (WGA‐HRP). Dense projections were found in the putamen ipsilateral to the injection site and sparser projections occupied comparable areas in the contralateral putamen. Representations of hindpaw regions projected to the dorsomedial portion of the putamen with only slight extensions across cell bridges into the caudate nucleus. Representations of the forepaw and head projected to progressively more ventrolateral zones of the dorsal two‐thirds of the putamen. Projections from injections of cortex representing discrete body movements terminated in an irregular or patchy distribution over a relatively large portion of the putamen. Extensive projections from relatively discrete injections in MI are indicative of a large degree of divergence and provide evidence for possible overlap from representations of relatively disparate body parts. The results are consistent with observations reported in other species of primates, but different from those seen in carnivores. This difference is discussed with regard to possible general features of corticostriate organization. Copyright © 1991 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Comparative Neurology