Some observations on cortical inputs to the macaque monkey amygdala: An anterograde tracing study

Lisa Stefanacci, David G Amaral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

257 Scopus citations


We have previously described the origins of neocortical inputs to the lateral nucleus of the macaque monkey amygdala based on retrograde tracing studies. Here we report results from studies that have attempted to confirm the projections from several candidate afferent regions using 3H-amino acid autoradiography as an anterograde tracer. We have charted, based on the results of 33 separate injections, the topographic distribution of cortical projections throughout the amygdala. Areas TE and TEO of the inferotemporal cortex, portions of the superior temporal gyrus, and the granular region of the insula project primarily to the lateral nucleus, with little or no innervation of other amygdaloid nuclei. In contrast, orbito-frontal, medial prefrontal, and anterior cingulate regions project primarily to the basal and accessory basal nuclei and provide little innervation to the lateral nucleus. The orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal cortices, but not the anterior cingulate cortex, project to medially situated amygdaloid areas such as the cortical and medial nuclei and to the periamygdaloid cortex. The agranular and dysgranular insula, the parainsula, and rostral portions of the superior temporal gyrus project both to the lateral, basal, and accessory basal nuclei and to the medially situated nuclei. Projections to the central nucleus are particularly prominent from these regions. These data are discussed in relation to the hierarchical processing of sensory information that occurs within the amygdaloid complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-323
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 30 2002


  • Amygdaloid complex
  • Cortical connections
  • Emotion
  • Topography
  • Tracing studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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