Organization of afferent input to subdivisions of area 8 in the rhesus monkey

H. Barbas*, M. ‐M Mesulam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

394 Scopus citations


The sources of ipsilateral afferents to subdivisions of one frontal eye field (Walker, '40a area 8 ) were studied with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) in macaque monkeys. There were major differences in the distribution of cells pro‐ jecting to the caudal and rostral parts of area 8. The majority (53%) of labeled cortical cells projecting to caudal regions were in visual association areas, and an additional 23% were in the ventral bank of the intraparietal sulcus, where neurons may have predominantly visual and visuomotor properties. In contrast, rostral area 8 had a much lower percentage of its cortical input originating in visual association areas (5%) or in the ventral bank ofthe intraparietal sulcus (8%). After HRP injection in this rostral part, 21% of labeled cells were in auditory association areas and 13% in paralimbic regions, whereas labeling in these two types of cortex was negligible after HRP administration to caudal parts of area 8. The percentage of cells in other association regions (portions of the banks of the superior temporal sulcus, dorsolateral parietal, medial parietal, and prefrontal cortices) was higher in the rostral (53%) than in the caudal case (21%). The results suggest that caudal area 8 may be involved in head and eye movements in response to visual stimuli, while its anterior subdivisions may be involved in directing the head and eyes in response to auditory stimuli. Furthermore, limbic input may also be relevant to the neural processing occurring in rostral frontal eye fields, perhaps by directing attention toward motivationally relevant stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-431
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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