The prefrontal 'cortex' in the pigeon. Biochemical evidence

Brain Res. 1985 Apr 22;332(2):365-8. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(85)90606-7.


Concentrations of dopamine and noradrenaline were determined in 6 regions of the telencephalon and in the cerebellum of the pigeon. Noradrenaline was rather evenly distributed. A significant variation was found of the dopamine-noradrenaline ratio (DA:NA), a measure which makes it possible to distinguish dopamine found in dopaminergic fibers from dopamine which is precursor of noradrenaline. The highest ratio was found in the anteroventromedial region (containing the presumed homologue of the mammalian neostriatum), and the next highest in the posteroventrolateral region (containing the archistriatum). Like in mammals, the lowest concentration of the non-precursor dopamine in the pigeon brain seems to be contained in the cerebellum. Among the regions which show physiological and anatomical similarities with the mammalian cerebral cortex, the DA:NA ratio was significantly higher in the posterodorsolateral, than in the posterodorsomedial and anterodorsomedial regions. The two dorsomedial regions contain the equivalents of the hippocampus and sensory cortical areas of mammals. The strong dopamine innervation of the posterodorsolateral region is comparable to that of the mammalian prefrontal cortex.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cerebellum / analysis*
  • Columbidae / anatomy & histology
  • Columbidae / metabolism*
  • Corpus Striatum / anatomy & histology
  • Dopamine / analysis*
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Mammals / anatomy & histology
  • Norepinephrine / analysis*
  • Telencephalon / analysis*


  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine