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Cognitive pathways supporting human language and declarative memory are thought to have uniquely evolutionarily differentiated in our species. However, cross-species comparisons are missing on site-specific effective connectivity between regions important for cognition. We harnessed a new approach using functional imaging to visualize the impact of direct electrical brain stimulation in human neurosurgery patients. Applying the same approach with macaque monkeys, we found remarkably comparable patterns of effective connectivity between auditory cortex and ventro-lateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) and parahippocampal cortex in both species. Moreover, in humans electrical tractography revealed rapid evoked potentials in vlPFC from stimulating auditory cortex and speech sounds drove vlPFC, consistent with prior evidence in monkeys of direct projections from auditory cortex to vocalization responsive regions in vlPFC. The results identify a common effective connectivity signature that from auditory cortex is equally direct to vlPFC and indirect to the hippocampus (via parahippocampal cortex) in human and nonhuman primates.

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