The interactions of anterior temporal structures, and especially the amygdala, with the prefrontal cortex are pivotal to learning, decision-making, and socio-emotional regulation. A clear anatomical description of the organization and dissociation of fiber bundles linking anterior temporal cortex/amygdala and prefrontal cortex in humans is still lacking. Using diffusion imaging techniques, we reconstructed fiber bundles between these anatomical regions in human and macaque brains. First, by studying macaques, we assessed which aspects of connectivity known from tracer studies could be identified with diffusion imaging. Second, by comparing diffusion imaging results in humans and macaques, we estimated the patterns of fibers coursing between human amygdala and prefrontal cortex and compared them with those in the monkey. In posterior prefrontal cortex, we observed a prominent and well-preserved bifurcation of bundles into primarily two fiber systems-an amygdalofugal path and an uncinate path-in both species. This dissociation fades away in more rostral prefrontal regions.
amygdala, connectivity, decision-making, diffusion MRI, emotional behaviour, human, neuroscience, prefrontal cortex