The present study examined the anatomic connections of the dorsal zone of cat auditory cortex (DZ). The DZ was discriminated physiologically from the primary auditory field (AI) on the basis of neuronal responses with long latency and broad or multipeaked tuning curves. Wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase was then injected either by pressure or iontophoretically. The thalamocortical and corticothalamic connections of the DZ were visualized by the presence of retrogradely labeled neurons and anterogradely labeled terminal fields in the thalamus; ipsilateral corticocortical projections from other cortical fields were visualized by the presence of retrogradely labeled cells. Injections of tracer into the DZ retrogradely labeled cells mainly in the lateral division of posterior complex (Po) and in the dorsal division (MGd) of the medial geniculate body (MGB); fewer labeled cells were found in the ventral (MGv) and medial (MGm) divisions of the MGB and in the suprageniculate nucleus. The DZ projection to Po, MGv, and MGd was heavy and was more diffuse than the reciprocal thalamocortical projection; the projection to MGm was light. The corticothalamic terminations and thalamocortical cells projecting to the same part of the DZ were not superimposed rigidly. The DZ received cortical projections from AI and from the second, anterior, and posterior auditory fields, and there were strong intra-DZ connections. Together with the physiological findings, the present results suggest that the DZ is a potentially separate auditory field from AI and is likely to be involved in both temporal and spectral integration of acoustic information.
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