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J Comp Neurol. 1991 Jul 22;309(4):486-94.

Organization of the zebra finch song control system: II. Functional organization of outputs from nucleus Robustus archistriatalis.

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Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021.


The organization of projections from nucleus robustus archistriatalis (RA) was mapped by a combination of anatomical tracer techniques. After injections of retrograde tracers in the syringeal part of the hypoglossal motor nucleus (nXIIts), labelled cells were seen in ipsilateral RA, in agreement with previous work. However, a shallow band in the dorsal and dorsocaudal part of RA did not contain labelled cells. Cells in this "cap" area were labelled following tracer injections in the dorsomedial nucleus of midbrain ICo (DM), the other known target of RA projections. The topography of outputs to nXIIts was further examined by making small injections of retrograde tracer into physiologically identified control zones for individual syringeal muscles in nXIIts. The distribution of labelled cells in RA revealed bands of cells that cross RA in approximately horizontal layers and project to different parts of nXIIts. This topography was confirmed with the anterograde tracer PHA-L. Thus RA contains two functional subdivisions, one related to midbrain centers for vocalization and the other directly controlling syringeal motorneurons. The latter area can be further divided into zones that preferentially engage particular syringeal muscles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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