Cytoarchitectonic, receptor distribution and functional connectivity analyses of the macaque frontal lobe


Based on quantitative cyto- and receptor architectonic analyses, we identified 35 prefrontal areas, including novel subdivisions of Walker’s areas 10, 9, 8B, and 46. Statistical analysis of receptor densities revealed regional differences in lateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Indeed, structural and functional organization of subdivisions encompassing areas 46 and 12 demonstrated significant differences in the interareal levels of α2 receptors. Furthermore, multivariate analysis included receptor fingerprints of previously identified 16 motor areas in the same macaque brains and revealed 5 clusters encompassing frontal lobe areas. We used the MRI datasets from the non-human primate data sharing consortium PRIME-DE to perform functional connectivity analyses using the resulting frontal maps as seed regions. In general, rostrally located frontal areas were characterized by bigger fingerprints, that is, higher receptor densities, and stronger regional interconnections. Whereas more caudal areas had smaller fingerprints, but showed a widespread connectivity pattern with distant cortical regions. Taken together, this study provides a comprehensive insight into the molecular structure underlying the functional organization of the cortex and, thus, reconcile the discrepancies between the structural and functional hierarchical organization of the primate frontal lobe. Finally, our data are publicly available via the EBRAINS and BALSA repositories for the entire scientific community.