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On the Functional Interpretation of Quantitative Differences in Forebrain Orcianization - the Trigeminal and Visual System in Birds

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Central question of this discussion is, whether it is possible to correlate quantitative neuromorphological differences with differences in sensory specialization; emphasis is on tactile sense and vision. A first step is to see whether the size of cell groups can be used as parameter for sensory specialization. The size of nucleus sensorius principalis trigeminalis was chosen as parameter for touch, that of n. rotundus for vision. It appears that such parameters can give an indication about the numbers of peripheral sensory elements, but nothing about their distribution, the type of receptors or their role in e.g. feeding behavior. Differences in size of the telencephalic endstations for ascending visual and tactile pathways correspond only roughly with those of the chosen parameters. These endstations form minor parts of the telencephalon, but apparantly sensory specialization is also expressed in the development of the overlying 'associative' areas of the neostriatum - hyperstriatum ventrale complex.

Affiliations: 1: Neurobehavioral Morphology Group, Zoological Laboratory, Leiden University, P. O. B. 9516, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands


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