Global view of the functional molecular organization of the avian cerebrum: mirror images and functional columns.

Abstract

Based on quantitative cluster analyses of 52 constitutively expressed or behaviorally regulated genes in 23 brain regions, we present a global view of telencephalic organization of birds. The patterns of constitutively expressed genes revealed a partial mirror image organization of three major cell populations that wrap above, around, and below the ventricle and adjacent lamina through the mesopallium. The patterns of behaviorally regulated genes revealed functional columns of activation across boundaries of these cell populations, reminiscent of columns through layers of the mammalian cortex. The avian functionally regulated columns were of two types: those above the ventricle and associated mesopallial lamina, formed by our revised dorsal mesopallium, hyperpallium, and intercalated hyperpallium; and those below the ventricle, formed by our revised ventral mesopallium, nidopallium, and intercalated nidopallium. Based on these findings and known connectivity, we propose that the avian pallium has four major cell populations similar to those in mammalian cortex and some parts of the amygdala: 1) a primary sensory input population (intercalated pallium); 2) a secondary intrapallial population (nidopallium/hyperpallium); 3) a tertiary intrapallial population (mesopallium); and 4) a quaternary output population (the arcopallium). Each population contributes portions to columns that control different sensory or motor systems. We suggest that this organization of cell groups forms by expansion of contiguous developmental cell domains that wrap around the lateral ventricle and its extension through the middle of the mesopallium. We believe that the position of the lateral ventricle and its associated mesopallium lamina has resulted in a conceptual barrier to recognizing related cell groups across its border, thereby confounding our understanding of homologies with mammals.

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Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1002/cne.23404

Publication Info

Jarvis, Erich D, Jing Yu, Miriam V Rivas, Haruhito Horita, Gesa Feenders, Osceola Whitney, Syrus C Jarvis, Electra R Jarvis, et al. (2013). Global view of the functional molecular organization of the avian cerebrum: mirror images and functional columns. J Comp Neurol, 521(16). pp. 3614–3665. 10.1002/cne.23404 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11203.

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Scholars@Duke

Jarvis

Erich David Jarvis

Adjunct Professor in the Deptartment of Neurobiology

Dr. Jarvis' laboratory studies the neurobiology of vocal communication. Emphasis is placed on the molecular pathways involved in the perception and production of learned vocalizations. They use an integrative approach that combines behavioral, anatomical, electrophysiological and molecular biological techniques. The main animal model used is songbirds, one of the few vertebrate groups that evolved the ability to learn vocalizations. The generality of the discoveries is tested in other vocal learning orders, such as parrots and hummingbirds, as well as non-vocal learners, such as pigeons and non-human primates. Some of the questions require performing behavior/molecular biology experiments in freely ranging animals, such as hummingbirds in tropical forest of Brazil. Recent results show that in songbirds, parrots and hummingbirds, perception and production of song are accompanied by anatomically distinct patterns of gene expression. All three groups were found to exhibit vocally-activated gene expression in exactly 7 forebrain nuclei that are very similar to each other. These structures for vocal learning and production are thought to have evolved independently within the past 70 million years, since they are absent from interrelated non-vocal learning orders. One structure, Area X of the basal ganglia's striatum in songbirds, shows large differential gene activation depending on the social context in which the bird sings. These differences may reflect a semantic content of song, perhaps similar to human language.

The overall goal of the research is to advance knowledge of the neural mechanisms for vocal learning and basic mechanisms of brain function. These goals are further achieved by combined collaborative efforts with the laboratories of Drs. Mooney and Nowicki at Duke University, who study respectively behavior and electrophysiological aspects of songbird vocal communication.


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