Phylogenetic, ontogenetic, and functional development of the cerebral cortex
All vertebrates have a structure corresponding to a cerebral cortex. It covers the subcortical regions of the telencephalon, hence the term pallidum cerebri. In reptiles and fish the homologue of the cerebral cortex appears as a cortical plate which does not reach over the colliculi of the midbrain, which can be considered as being the highest level of functional integration in these organisms. In the cortex homologue only three clearly defined layers can be differentiated. In this respect it corresponds to the archicortex of mammals. It is mainly connected to the rhinencephalon, but also receives somatosensory and other sensory afferent. Circumscribed sensory fields can be differentiated into a visual (Wulst), a somatosensory (mainly representing the trigeminal afferents from the beak), and an auditory cortex (field L). These cortices have corresponding diencephalic afferents from the lateral geniculate nucleus (visual input mainly via the nucleus rotundus), the nucleus basalis (somatosensory), and the ovoid nucleus (auditory input mainly via the torus acusticus).
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