Auditory pathways to the frontal cortex of the mustache bat, Pteronotus parnellii

Science  15 May 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4803, pp. 824-826
DOI: 10.1126/science.2437655


In primates, certain areas of the frontal cortex play a role in guiding movements toward visual or auditory objects in space. The projections from auditory centers to the frontal cortex of the bat Pteronotus parnellii were examined because echolocating bats utilize auditory cues to guide their movements in space. An area in the frontal cortex receives a direct projection from a division of the auditory thalamus, the suprageniculate nucleus, which in turn receives input from the anterolateral peri-olivary nucleus, an auditory center in the medulla. This pathway to the frontal cortex bypasses the main auditory centers in the midbrain and cortex and could involve as few as four neurons between the cochlea and the frontal cortex. The auditory cortex is also a major source of input to the frontal cortex. This area of the frontal cortex may link the auditory and motor systems by its projections to the superior colliculus.