The Journal Of Comparative Neurology
Recent reports have shown that the avian visual dorsal ventricular ridge (DVR) is organized as a trilayered complex, in which the forming layers-the thalamo-recipient entopallium (E), an overlaying nidopallial stripe called intermediate nidopallium (NI), and the dorsally adjacent mesopallium ventrale-appear to be extensively interconnected by topographically organized columns of reciprocal axonal processes running perpendicular to the layers, an arrangement highly reminiscent to that of the sensory cortices of mammals. In the present report, we implemented in vivo anterograde and retrograde tracing techniques aiming to elucidate the organization of the connections of this complex with other pallial areas. Previous studies have shown that the efferent projections of the visual DVR originate mainly from the NI and E, reaching several distinct associative and premotor nidopallial areas. We found that the efferents from the visual DVR originated solely from the NI, and confirmed that the targets of these projections were the pallial areas described by previous studies. We also found novel projections from the NI to the visual hyperpallium, and to the lateral striatum. Moreover, we found that these projections were reciprocal, topographically organized, and originated from different cell populations within the NI. We conclude that the NI constitutes a specialized layer of the visual DVR that form the core of a dense network of highly specific connections between this region and other higher order areas of the avian pallium. Finally, we discuss to what extent these hodological properties resemble those of the mammalian cortical layers II/III. 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.