Organization of the Ectostriatum Based on Afferent Connections in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia Guttata)

Document Type


Publication Date



Bird, Tract tracing, Visual pathway

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



In birds with laterally-located eyes, such as zebra finches and pigeons, the tectofugal visual pathway is the most prominent route from the retina to the telencephalon. However, little is known about exactly how the visual information is processed in this pathway, especially at the core region of the ectostriatum (Ec) in the telencephalon. In order to reveal a detailed organization of Ec, we decided to systematically analyze the afferent connections of Ec by injecting small amounts of sensitive tracers (biotinylated dextran amine and cholera toxin subunit B) selectively into different regions of Ec and the thalamic center of the tectofugal pathway (the nucleus rotundus, Rt). The present study revealed a clearer picture of the organization of Ec subdivisions than previously known. The present results showed that the anterior portion of Rt sent a heavy projection to the ventral region of the anterior Ec, whereas the more caudal subdivisions of Rt sent projections to more caudal and dorsal portions in Ec. The results suggest that Ec subdivisions appear to be arranged along an axis ‘rotated’ in the anterior direction, almost parallel to other major telencephalic laminae. These results may clarify the physiological and chemical heterogeneity of Ec found in the previous studies. The present findings also provide an insight into the possible organization of a visual processing center in a non-mammal.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Brain Research, v. 963, issue 1-2, p. 101-112