The Lamprey Pallium Provides a Blueprint of the Mammalian Layered Cortex
The basic architecture of the mammalian neocortex is remarkably similar across species. Pallial structures in the reptilian brain are considered amniote precursors of mammalian neocortex, whereas pallia of anamniotes ("lower" vertebrates) have been deemed largely insignificant with respect to homology. Here, we examine the cytoarchitecture of the lateral pallium in the lamprey, the phylogenetically oldest group of extant vertebrates. We reveal a three-layered structure with similar excitatory cell types as in the mammalian cortex and GABAergic interneurons. The ventral parts are sensory areas receiving monosynaptic thalamic input that can be activated from the optic nerve, whereas the dorsal parts contain motor areas with efferent projections to the brainstem, receiving oligosynaptic thalamic input. Both regions receive monosynaptic olfactory input. This three-layered "primordial" lamprey lateral pallium has evolved most features of the three-layered reptilian cortices and is thereby a precursor of the six-layered "neo" cortex with a long-standing evolutionary precedent (some 500 million years ago).
Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.
Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.