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J Comp Neurol. 2003 Aug 4;462(4):415-30.

Organization and neural connections of the anterior optic tubercle in the brain of the locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

Author information

1
Fachbereich Biologie/Tierphysiologie, Universit├Ąt Marburg, D-35032 Marburg, Germany. homberg@staff.uni-marburg.de

Abstract

The anterior optic tubercle is a small neuropil in the insect brain and a major target of visual interneurons from the optic lobe. The functional role of the tubercle is poorly understood, but recent evidence from locusts points to a possible involvement in polarization vision. The present study examines the organization of the anterior optic tubercle in the locust Schistocerca gregaria and its connections with other brain areas. The tubercle of the locust consists of an upper and a lower subunit. Both units are connected in parallel with the medulla and lobula of the optic lobe, with the contralateral tubercle, and with the lateral accessory lobe in the median protocerebrum. Wide-field transmedullary neurons provide input from the medulla. Neurons with processes in the dorsal rim of the medulla, a relay station in the polarization vision pathway, project exclusively to the lower unit of the tubercle. Visual input from the lobula to the upper and lower unit originates from topographically distinct strata. The most prominent output target of the tubercle is the lateral accessory lobe in the median protocerebrum. Neurons from the upper unit project widely in the lateral accessory lobe, whereas neurons from the lower unit have focused projections confined to the median olive and to the lateral triangle. The two subunits of the anterior optic tubercle are, therefore, processing stages in two parallel visual pathways from the optic lobe to the median protocerebrum. Pathways via the lower unit of the tubercle appear to be involved in polarization vision.

PMID:
12811810
DOI:
10.1002/cne.10771
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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