Acta Biotheoretica

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 469–479 | Cite as

Brain organization and behaviour

A discussion of neuronal systems in birds
  • J. L. Dubbeldam


Central question of this essay is, whether it is possible to relate specific aspects of the organization of sensorimotor systems to specific aspects of the behaviour. The role of the auditory system as part of a system for vocalization (song-birds) or as part of a system for prey localization (owls) and the different roles of the trigeminal system in the feeding behaviour of different birds are considered. The ascending sensory systems seem to possess a comparable organization in the various species. Also the descending ‘motor’ pathways from archistriatum and paleostriatal complex seem to be basically similar. Behavioural specialization may be expressed particularly in the organization of the intratelencephalic circuits and thus in the involvement of specific regions of neostriatum and hyperstriatum ventrale. In discussions on cerebralisation it will be necessary to take such differences in intratelencephalic organization into account.


Sensory System Specific Region Specific Aspect Auditory System Central Question 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. J.J.A. Arends, A. Woelders-Blok and J.L. Dubbeldam (1984). The efferent connections of the nuclei of the descending trigeminal tract in the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos L.). Neuroscience 13: 797–817.Google Scholar
  2. H. Berkhoudt, J.L. Dubbeldam and S. Zeilstra (1981). Studies on the somatotopy of the trigeminal system in the mallard, Anas platyrhynchos L. IV Tactile representation in the nucleus basalis. J. Comp. Neurol. 196: 407–420.Google Scholar
  3. R.L. Boord (1969). The anatomy of the avian auditory system. In: J.M. Petras and C.R. Noback, eds., Comparative and Evolutionary Aspects of the Vertebrate Central Nervous System. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 167: 186–198.Google Scholar
  4. S.W. Bottjer and A.P. Arnold (1982). Afferent neurons in the hypoglossal nerve of the zebrafinch (Poephila guttata): Localization with horseradish peroxidase. J. Comp. Neurol. 210: 190–197.Google Scholar
  5. J.L. Dubbeldam (1968). On the Shape and the Structure of the Brainstem in Some Species of Birds. An Architectonic Study. Thesis, Leiden University.Google Scholar
  6. J.L. Dubbeldam (1990). On the functional interpretation of quantitative differences in forebrain organization-the trigeminal and visual system in birds. Neth. J. Zool. 40: 241–253.Google Scholar
  7. J.L. Dubbeldam (1991). The avian and mammalian forebrain: correspondences and differences. In: R.J. Andrew, ed., Neural and Behavioral Plasticity. The Domestic Chicken as a Model, pp. 65–91. Oxford, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. J.L. Dubbeldam (1992). Cranial nerves and sensory centres-a matter of definition? Hypoglossal and other afferents of the avian sensory trigeminal system. Zool. Jahrbü. Anat. 122: 179–186.Google Scholar
  9. J.L. Dubbeldam and A.M. Visser (1987). The organization of the nucleus basalis-neostriatum complex in the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos L.) and its connections with the archistriatum and paleostriatum complex. Neuroscience 21: 487–517.Google Scholar
  10. P. Ebinger and R. Löhmer (1984). Comparative quantitative investigations on brains of rock doves, domestic and urban pigeons (Columba l. livia). Z. Zool. Syst. Evol.-Forsch. 22: 136–145.Google Scholar
  11. P. Ebinger and R. Löhmer (1987). A volumetric comparison of brains between greylag geese (Anser anser L.) and domestic geese. J. Hirnforsch. 28: 291–299.Google Scholar
  12. C.R. Gallistel (1990). The Organization of Learning. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. J. Heidweiller and G.A. Zweers (1990). Drinking mechanisms in the Zebra Finch and the Bengalese Finch. Condor 92: 1–28.Google Scholar
  14. D.G. Homberger (1980). Funktionell-morphologische Untersuchungen zur Radiation der Ernährungs- und Trinkmethoden der Papageien (Psittaci). Bonn, Bonner Zool. Monograph. 13: Zool. Forsch. inst. und Museum A. Koenig.Google Scholar
  15. G. Horn (1985). Memory, Imprinting, and the Brain. Oxford, Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  16. H.J. Karten (1991). Homology and evolutionary origins of the ‘neocortex’. Brain Behav. Evol. 38: 264–272.Google Scholar
  17. H.J. Karten and J.L. Dubbeldam (1973). The organization and the projections of the paleostriatal complex in the pigeon. J. Comp. Neurol. 148: 61–90.Google Scholar
  18. E.I. Knudsen (1980). Sound location in birds. In: A.N. Popper and R.R. Fay, eds., Comparative Studies of Hearing in Vertebrates, pp. 289–322. Heidelberg, Springer Verlag, N.Y.Google Scholar
  19. E.I. Knudsen and P.F. Knudsen (1983). Space-mapped auditory projections from the inferior colliculus to the optic tectum in the barn owl (Tyto alba). J. Comp. Neurol. 218: 187–196.Google Scholar
  20. E.I. Knudsen and P.F. Knudsen (1990). Sensitive and critical periods of visual calibration of sound localization by Barn owls. J. Neurosci. 10: 222–232.Google Scholar
  21. R.B. Masterton (1992). Role of the central auditory system in hearing: the new direction. TINS 15: 280–285.Google Scholar
  22. G.J. Mogenson, D.L. Jones and C.Y. Yim (1980). From motivation to action: functional interface between the lirnbic system and the motor system. Progress Neurobiol. 14: 69–97.Google Scholar
  23. F. Nottebohm (1991). Reassessing the mechanisms and origins of vocal learning in birds. TINS 14: 206–211.Google Scholar
  24. S. Okuhata and F. Nottebohm (1992). Single units in nucleus UVA respond to sound and respiration and are part of a motor loop involved in song production. Proc. 3rd Int. Congress Neuroethology, abstr. 60.Google Scholar
  25. T.N. Parks and E.W. Rubel (1975). Organization and development of the brain stem auditory nuclei of the chicken: organization of projections from n. magnocellularis to n. laminaris. J. Comp. Neurol. 164: 435–448.Google Scholar
  26. J.A. Paton, K.R. Manogue and F. Nottebohm (1981). Bilateral organization of the vocal control pathway in the budgerigar,Melopsittacus undulatus. J. Neurosci. 1: 1279–1288.Google Scholar
  27. J.D. Pettigrew and M. Konishi (1976). Neurons selective for orientation and binocular disparity in the visual Wulst of the barn owl (Tyto alba). Science 193: 675–678.Google Scholar
  28. G. Rehkämper, H.D. Frahm and K. Zilles (1991). Quantitative development of brain and brain structures in birds (Galliformes and Passeriformes) and mammals (Insectivores and Primates) Brain Behav. Evol. 37: 125–143.Google Scholar
  29. A. Reiner, S.E. Brauth and H.J. Karten (1984). Evolution of the amniote basal ganglion. TINS 7: 320–325.Google Scholar
  30. I. Rosenfield (1988). The Invention of Memory. A New View of the Brain. New York, Basic Books.Google Scholar
  31. K. Tsutsui and S.W. Bottjer (1989). Afferent input from the vocal organ projects to forebrain nuclei that are involved with song learning in Zebra finches. In: J. Erber, R. Menzel, H.-J. Pflüger and D. Todt, eds., Neural Mechanisms of Behavior, p. 118. Stuttgart, G. Thieme Verlag.Google Scholar
  32. E.W. Rubel and T.N. Parks (1975). Organization and development of the brain stem nuclei of the chicken: tonotopic organization of n. magnocellularis and n. laminaris. J. Comp. Neurol. 164: 411–434.Google Scholar
  33. P.S. Uinski (1984). Design features in Vertebrate sensory system. Amer. Zool. 24: 717–731.Google Scholar
  34. J.M. Wild (1990). Peripheral and central terminations of hypoglossal afferents innervating lingual tactile mechanoreceptor complexes in Fringillidae. J. Comp. Neurol. 298: 157–171.Google Scholar
  35. J.M. Wild, J.J.A. Arends and H.P. Zeigler (1985). Telencephalic connections of the trigeminal system in the pigeon (Columba livia): a trigeminal sensorimotor circuit. J. Comp. Neurol. 234: 441–464.Google Scholar
  36. J.M. Wild, H.J. Karten and B.J. Forst (1993). Connections of the auditory forebrain in the pigeon (Columba livia). J. Comp. Neurol. 337: 32–62.Google Scholar
  37. H. Williams (1990). Bird song. In: R.P. Kesner and D.S. Olton, eds., Neurobiology of Comparative Cognition, pp 77–126. Hillsdale, N.J., L.Erlbaum Ass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Dubbeldam
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurobehavioral Morphology Group, Section of Organismal Zoology, Institute of Evolutionary and Ecological SciencesLeiden UniversityleidenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations