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The topology of the thalamo-cortical projections in the marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus)

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Summary

This paper addresses the question of a general topological principle of thalamo-cortical projections. In the lissencephalic primate brain of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), large injections of horseradish peroxidase were made in various parts of the neocortex. These injections were placed in different animals and hemispheres along various caudo-rostral and mediolateral gradients. Labelled cells in the thalamus were plotted and the labelling-zones resulting from several injections along a medio-lateral and two caudo-rostral cortical vectors were drawn into semi-schematic thalamic maps. These composite maps reveal a topological organization of the whole thalamo-cortical projection. The thalamic representation of the caudo-rostral and mediolateral gradients indicate a rotation of the posterior relative to the anterior thalamus. An attempt is made to relate the organization of the thalamo-cortical projection to the development of the thalamus and the cortex. The cortex is divided into concentric zones around the sensory-motor and insular cortex. The thalamus is divided into corresponding projection zones. The topology of thalamo-cortical connections can then be regarded as a consequence of corresponding thalamic and cortical growth gradients. This is not only consistent with the general thalamo-cortical topology and the inversion of maps from thalamus to cortex, but also explains the continuity and overlap of thalamic projection zones in the pulvinar to widely separated cortical areas as the parietal, temporal and frontal association cortex.

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Abbreviations

AD:

Nucleus anterior dorsalis thalami

AM:

Nucleus anterior medialis thalami

AV:

Nucleus anterior ventralis thalami

CeD:

Nucleus centralis dorsalis thalami

CeL:

Nucleus centralis lateralis thalami

CeM:

Nucleus centralis medialis thalami

CeMe:

Centre median

GLD:

Corpus geniculaturn laterale dorsale

GLV:

Corpus geniculatum laterale ventrale

GM:

Corpus geniculatum mediale

LD:

Nucleus lateralis dorsalis thalami

Li:

Nucleus limitans thalami

LP:

Nucleus lateralis posterior thalami

MD:

Nucleus medialis dorsalis thalami

Pf:

Nucleus parafascicularis thalami

PvT:

Nucleus paraventricularis thalami

Pul:

Pulvinar inferior

PuIP:

Pulvinar inferior posterior

PuL:

Pulvinar lateralis

PuM:

Pulvinar medialis

PuO:

Pulvinar oralis

Re:

Nucleus Reuniens

Sg:

Nucleus suprageniculatus

VA:

Nucleus ventralis anterior

VAMg:

Nucleus ventralis anterior magnocellularis

VL:

Nucleus ventralis lateralis

VP:

Nucleus ventralis posterior

VPL:

Nucleus ventralis posterior lateralis

VPM:

Nucleus ventralis posterior medialis

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Brysch, W., Brysch, I., Creutzfeldt, O.D. et al. The topology of the thalamo-cortical projections in the marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus). Exp Brain Res 81, 1–17 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00230095

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Key words

  • Thalamo-cortical connections
  • Topology
  • Development
  • Specific and intralaminar thalamic nuclei
  • Primate