Auditory pathways to the cortex in Tupaia glis

J Comp Neurol. 1976 Apr 1;166(3):303-40. doi: 10.1002/cne.901660304.


The auditory system of the tree shrew, Tupaia glis, was investigated by identifying axonal degeneration after lesions of the lateral lemniscus, the inferior colliculus, the medial geniculate nucleus and the auditory cortex. The results show that the lateral lemniscus projects to the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus which in turn projects principally to the ventral division of the medial geniculate nucleus but to a lesser extent to the magnocellular division of the medial geniculate nucleus. The final step in the pathway to the cortex is achieved by a projection from the ventral division to the fourth layer of auditory koniocortex. There appear to be several auditory pathways parallel to this primary path. The lateral lemniscus projects to the dorsal division of the medial geniculate nucleus; the deeper layers of the superior colliculus project to the posterior nucleus; and both the dorsal division and the posterior nucleus project to the belt caudal to auditory koniocortex. The caudal division of the medial geniculate nucleus may constitute a relay in still another path from the pericentral division of the inferior colliculus. Finally, the magnocellular division also appears to be distinct insofar as its cortical projections are confined chiefly to the deeper layers. A comparison between the tree shrew and the cat reveals a similar organization in the two species. In the cat the starting point for understanding the organization of the several auditory pathways is the distinction between a core cortical zone which corresponds to konicortex and to AI and a peripheral belt. The core receives essential projections from the ventral division; the belt receives sustaining projections from the cell groups which surround the ventral division. It is reasonable to hypothesize that this difference between the core and the belt is characteristic of all mammals.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Auditory Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Geniculate Bodies / anatomy & histology
  • Inferior Colliculi / anatomy & histology
  • Putamen / anatomy & histology
  • Strepsirhini / anatomy & histology*
  • Tupaiidae / anatomy & histology*