The avian subpallium: new insights into structural and functional subdivisions occupying the lateral subpallial wall and their embryological origins
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The subpallial region of the avian telencephalon contains neural systems whose functions are critical to the survival of individual vertebrates and their species. The subpallial neural structures can be grouped into five major functional systems, namely the dorsal somatomotor basal ganglia; ventral viscerolimbic basal ganglia; subpallial extended amygdala including the central and medial extended amygdala and bed nuclei of the stria terminalis; basal telencephalic cholinergic and non-cholinergic corticopetal systems; and septum. The paper provides an overview of the major developmental, neuroanatomical and functional characteristics of the first four of these neural systems, all of which belong to the lateral telencephalic wall. The review particularly focuses on new findings that have emerged since the identity, extent and terminology for the regions were considered by the Avian Brain Nomenclature Forum. New terminology is introduced as appropriate based on the new findings. The paper also addresses regional similarities and differences between birds and mammals, and notes areas where gaps in knowledge occur for birds.