Neural pathways connecting the deutocerebrum and lateral protocerebrum in the brains of decapod crustaceans

Jeremy M. Sullivan, Barbara S. Beltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The olfactory and accessory lobes of eureptantian decapod crustaceans are bilateral brain neuropil regions located within the deutocerebrum. Although the olfactory lobe seems to receive only primary olfactory inputs, the accessory lobe receives higher-order multimodal (including olfactory) inputs. The output pathways from both the olfactory and accessory lobes are provided by the axons of a large population of projection neurons, whose somata lie adjacent to the lobes. The axons of these neurons form a large tract that projects bilaterally to the medulla terminalis and hemiellipsoid body in the lateral protocerebrum. To gain insights into the ways in which olfactory information is processed on leaving the deutocerebrum, we examined the neuroanatomy of the projection neuron pathways of three species of eureptantian decapod crustaceans: the freshwater crayfish, Procambarus clarkii and Orconectes rusticus, and the clawed lobster, Homarus americanus. Projection neurons were labeled by focal injections of the lipophilic tracers DiI and DiA into the olfactory and accessory lobes. In all three species, projection neurons innervating the accessory lobe were found to exclusively innervate the neuropils of the hemiellipsoid body. In contrast, projection neurons innervating the olfactory lobes primarily target neuropil regions of the medulla terminalis. The results of this study indicate, therefore, that the projection neuron pathways from the olfactory and accessory lobes project to separate, largely nonoverlapping regions of the lateral protocerebrum. The implications of these findings for our understanding of the processing of olfactory information in the brains of decapod crustaceans are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-22
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 3 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Accessory lobe
  • Olfaction
  • Olfactory pathway
  • Projection neurons
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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