Strong evidence has emerged over the last 15 years showing that the perirhinal and parahippocampal cortices play an important role in normal memory function. Despite our progress in understanding the mnemonic functions of these areas, controversy still exists concerning the precise location of the boundaries of these areas in the primate brain. To provide a context for understanding the current discrepancies in the literature, we present a historical overview of the different boundary schemes and nomenclatures that have been applied to the medial temporal lobe cortices in both humans and nonhuman primates. We describe how the boundaries and the names applied to these regions have evolved over time, starting with the classic cytoarchitectonisists working in the early 1900s, and ending with the various schemes being used in the contemporary literature. We show that the current controversies concerning the boundaries of the perirhinal and parahippocampal cortices can be traced directly to the classic cytoarchitectonic literature.
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