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Efferent and afferent connections of the olfactory bulb and prepiriform cortex in the pigeon (Columba livia).

Atoji, Y;Wild, JM;

Although olfaction in birds is known to be involved in a variety of behaviors, there is comparatively little detailed information on the olfactory brain. In the pigeon brain, the olfactory bulb (OB) is known to project to the prepiriform cortex (CPP), piriform cortex (CPi), and dorsolateral corticoid area (CDL), which together are called the olfactory pallium, but centrifugal pathways to the OB have not been fully explored. Fiber connections of CPi and CDL have been reported, but those of other olfactory pallial nuclei remain unknown. The present study examines the fiber connections of OB and CPP in pigeons to provide a more detailed picture of their connections using tract-tracing methods. When anterograde and retrograde tracers were injected in OB, projections to a more extensive olfactory pallium were revealed, including the anterior olfactory nucleus, CPP, densocellular part of the hyperpallium, tenia tecta, hippocampal continuation, CPi, and CDL. OB projected commissural fibers to the contralateral OB but did not receive afferents from the contralateral olfactory pallium. When tracers were injected in CPP, reciprocal ipsilateral connections with OB and nuclei of the olfactory pallium were observed, and CPP projected to the caudolateral nidopallium and the limbic system, including the hippocampal formation, septum, lateral hypothalamic nucleus, and lateral mammillary nucleus. These results show that the connections of OB have a wider distribution throughout the olfactory pallium than previously thought and that CPP provides a centrifugal projection to the OB and acts as a relay station to the limbic system.