prefrontal cortex
The term prefrontal cortex refers to the major, rostral part of the frontal lobe in primates. Defined on the basis of internal structure, it is six-layered granular and dysgranular neocortex. It is composed of lateral prefrontal cortex and orbitomedial prefrontal cortex. The lateral prefrontal cortex is commonly divided into dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex; and the orbitomedial prefrontal cortex is commonly divided into orbital prefrontal cortex and medial prefrontal cortex.They are found in the human and the macaque. The rat, and presumably the mouse, have areas near the frontal pole that are cytoarchitecturally equivalent to a very narrow band of agranular cortex at posterior margin of the primate orbital gyri. Continuous with agranular insular cortex, it is the agranular insula of the orbitomedial prefrontal cortex. Like the granular lateral prefrontal cortex, most of orbital prefrontal cortex is granular and has no equivalent in the rat ( Preuss-1995; Wallis-2012 ).
     Historically, application of the term ‘prefrontal cortex’ has varied greatly. As used here it refers to the most inclusive current definition. For the human that includes current definitions of all of Brodmann's frontal region (areas 9-12 and 44-47) and the three most rostral areas of Brodmann's cingulate region (24, 25, and 32) ( Zilles-2012 ). The macaque equivalent is prefrontal cortex (Walker). According to that definition the prefrontal cortex occupies all of the frontal lobe rostral to the premotor cortex.
     Many authors have restricted application of the term 'prefrontal' to fewer areas. Brodmann himself applied it only to area 11 of Brodmann (human). Many include only his frontal region in the definition ( Anthoney-1994 ), or only Brodmann's parcellation of the orbital gyri ( Crosby-1962 ), or only areas of the lateral prefrontal cortex of the frontal lobe located rostral to the motor cortex ( Petrides-2012 ).
     Most prefrontal cortical areas have a distinct internal granular layer, which is unique to the frontal areas rostral to the agranular motor cortex of primates ( Zilles-2012 ). In the rat, the cerebral cortex located most rostrally, that is, at the frontal pole, is motor cortex and lacks an internal granular layer, Layer IV ( Swanson-2004 ).Thus, while a PubMed search for articles with keywords 'prefrontal cortex in rat' results in a list of more than 8,000 citations, brain atlases of the rat ( Swanson-2004, Paxinos-2009b ) and mouse ( Franklin-2008; Hof-2000 ) do not show an area by that name.

Also known as: No other name for this structure has appeared in PubMed.NeuroNames ID : 1351

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