The pallial amygdala of amniote vertebrates: evolution of the concept, evolution of the structure

Brain Res Bull. 2002 Feb-Mar;57(3-4):463-9. doi: 10.1016/s0361-9230(01)00665-7.


Embryological studies indicate that the amygdala includes pallial structures, namely the cortical amygdala (olfactory and vomeronasal) and the basolateral complex deep to it. In squamate reptiles, the cortical amygdala includes secondary olfactory (the ventral anterior amygdala) and vomeronasal centres (the nucleus sphericus). In birds, the situation is far less clear, due to the relative underdevelopment of the chemosensory systems. The basolateral amygdala of squamate reptiles includes two ventropallial structures: the posterior dorsal ventricular ridge and the lateral amygdala. Like their mammalian counterparts, these centres give rise to glutamatergic projections to the striatal (centromedial) amygdala and the ventromedial hypothalamus. Using the same criteria, the caudal neostriatum and the ventral intermediate archistriatum may represent the ventral pallial amygdala of birds. The basal nucleus of the mammalian amygdala is a lateropallial territory. In reptiles, the lateral pallium includes the dorsolateral amygdala, which, like the mammalian basal nucleus, projects bilaterally to the striatum/accumbens and receives distinct cholinergic and dopaminergic innervations. In the avian brain, the same embryological, hodological, and histochemical criteria are met by the area temporo-parieto-occipitalis, the caudolateral neostriatum and the dorsal intermediate archistriatum. Therefore, the projections from these structures to the paleostriatum and the lobus paraolfactorius are amygdalostriatal, rather than corticostriatal connections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology*
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Birds / anatomy & histology
  • Birds / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Reptiles / anatomy & histology
  • Reptiles / physiology
  • Vertebrates / anatomy & histology*
  • Vertebrates / physiology*