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J Comp Neurol. 2011 Jan 1;519(1):64-74. doi: 10.1002/cne.22504.

Organization of somatosensory cortex in the Northern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster), a predatory rodent.

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  • 1Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.


Northern grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster) are among the most highly carnivorous rodents in North America. Because predatory mammals may have specialization of senses used to detect prey, we investigated the organization of sensory areas within grasshopper mouse neocortex and quantified the number of myelinated axons in grasshopper mouse trigeminal, cochlear, and optic nerves. Multiunit electrophysiological recordings combined with analysis of flattened sections of neocortex processed for cytochrome oxidase were used to determine the topography of primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and the location and size of both the visual and auditory cortex in adult animals. These findings were then related to the distinctive chemoarchitecture of layer IV visible in flattened cortical sections of juvenile grasshopper mice labeled with the serotonin transporter (SERT) antibody, revealing a striking correspondence between electrophysiological maps and cortical anatomy.

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