Telencephalic Afferents to the Caudolateral Neostriatum of the Pigeon

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Cognition, Pigeon, Prefrontal cortex, Hippocampus, Homing behavior, Pathway tracing

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The pigeon caudolateral neostriatum (NCL) shares a dopaminergic innervation with mammalian frontal cortical areas and is implicated in the regulation of avian cognitive behavior. Retrograde tracing methods were used to identify forebrain projections to NCL and to suggest a possible role of this area in mediating spatial behavior. NCL receives telencephalic projections from the hyperstriatum accessorium, cells along the border of hyperstriatum dorsale and hyperstriatum ventrale, anterolateral hyperstriatum adjacent to the vallecula, confined cell groups within the anterior neostriatum, and subdivisions of the archistriatum In addition, labeling of a small number of large cells near the fasciculus prosencephali lateralis was observed at the level of the anterior commissure. In accordance with previous studies, projections of subtelencephalic areas were revealed to originate from the thalamic posterior dorsolateral nucleus and nucleus subrotundus, as well as from the tegmental nucleus pedunculopontinus and locus coeruleus. Forebrain connections of NCL show that somatosensory, visual, and olfactory information can combine in this division of the neostriatum. NCL is therefore suited to participate in a neural circuit that regulates spatial behavior. Moreover, the present study reveals that NCL is reached by a limbic projection from the nucleus taeniae. This projection also suggests similarity between NCL and mammalian frontal cortical areas.

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Brain Research, v. 730, issues 1-2, p. 173-181.