A second ascending visual pathway from the optic tectum to the telencephalon in the pigeon (Columba livia)

Academic Article


  • Previous studies in the pigeon (Karten and Revzin: Brain Res. 2:368–377, '66; Karten and Hodos: J. Comp. Neurol. 140:35–52,'70) have described an ascending tectofugal visual pathway from the optic tectum to the ectostriatum by way of the nucleus rotundus of the thalamus. This present study used anterograde autoradiographic and retrograde horseradish peroxidase pathway‐tracing techniques to investigate another ascending tectofugal pathway in the pigeon. Injections of 3H‐proline/leucine confirmed a previous report that the optic tectum projects to the nucleus dorsolateralis posterior of the thalamus (DLP). This projection is predominantly ipsilateral and is confined to a large‐celled caudal region of the nucleus (DLPc); the rostral region of the nucleus (DLPr) is not tectorecipient. Injections of horseradish peroxidase in DLPc labeled cells predominantly ipsilaterally in layers 8–15 of the optic tectum. Injections of 3H‐proline/leucine placed in the DLPc labeled a discrete region of the ipsilateral telencephalon. Similar injections of DLPr labeled a contiguous, but more rostral, region of the neostriatum intermedium. Nissl‐ and silver‐stained material indicated that the region in which DLP terminates is cytoarchitecturally distinct from ventromedial ectostriatal core and belt. Injections of horseradish peroxidase at various locations in the neostriatal DLP terminal field demonstrated a rostrocaudal ordering of the DLP projection upon the neostriatum intermedium. Singleunit recording demonstrated that cells in DLPc respond to whole‐field illumination at the same latency as cells in the nucleus rotundus, indicating that the tecto‐DLPc‐neostriatal pathway transmits visual information to the telencephalon. We suggest that comparable pathways may exist in both reptiles and mammals. Copyright © 1986 Alan R. Liss, Inc.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gamlin PDR; Cohen DH
  • Start Page

  • 296
  • End Page

  • 310
  • Volume

  • 250
  • Issue

  • 3