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Evolutionary development of the amygdaloid complex

Frontiers in Neuroanatomy
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3389/fnana.2013.00027
  • Neuroscience
  • Opinion Article


Evolutionary development of the amygdaloid complex OPINION ARTICLE published: 28 August 2013 doi: 10.3389/fnana.2013.00027 Evolutionary development of the amygdaloid complex Mohan Pabba* Neurosciences Unit, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada *Correspondence: [email protected]; [email protected] Edited by: Makoto Fukuda, Baylor College of Medicine, USA Reviewed by: Joshua Corbin, Children’s National Medical Center, USA Keywords: amygdala, anatomy, tetrapods, mammals, evolution In the early 19th century, Burdach dis- covered an almond-shaped mass of gray matter in the anterior portion of the mam- malian temporal lobe, which he called “amygdala” (Burdach, 1819–1822). The first anatomical description of the amyg- dala was made in 1867 by Meynert (1867). Subsequently, a large number of other nuclei were added to the amygdala to con- stitute what is now known as the “amyg- daloid complex” (AC) (Johnston, 1923). Until this day, AC remains a subject of intense investigation in terms of content and evolutionary development since it is a much more complicated structure than what was previously thought. It is there- fore, important to know the evolutionary developmental origin of AC before we can completely understand its function. The AC is a multinuclear complex comprised of 13 nuclei. These nuclei are divided into three major groups: the basolateral, cortical-like, and centro- medial. Other accessory nuclei such as the intercalated cell masses (I) and the amygdalo-hippocampus area have also been described. The basolateral group is comprised of the lateral nucleus (LA), basal nucleus (B), and accessory basal nucleus (AB) (Johnston, 1923). The cortical-like group of nuclei includes the nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract (NLOT), bed nucleus of the accessory olfactory tract (BAOT), anterior and posterior cortical nuclei (CoA and CoP, respectively), and periamygdaloid cortex (PAC). The centromedial nucleus

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