The brain of the African wild dog. IV. The visual system

Samson Chengetanai, Adhil Bhagwandin, Mads F. Bertelsen, Therese Hård, Patrick R. Hof, Muhammad A. Spocter, Paul R. Manger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The variegated pelage and social complexity of the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) hint at the possibility of specializations of the visual system. Here, using a range of architectural and immunohistochemical stains, we describe the systems-level organization of the image-forming, nonimage forming, oculomotor, and accessory optic, vision-associated systems in the brain of one representative individual of the African wild dog. For all of these systems, the organization, in terms of location, parcellation and topology (internal and external), is very similar to that reported in other carnivores. The image-forming visual system consists of the superior colliculus, visual dorsal thalamus (dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus, pulvinar and lateral posterior nucleus) and visual cortex (occipital, parietal, suprasylvian, temporal and splenial visual regions). The nonimage forming visual system comprises the suprachiasmatic nucleus, ventral lateral geniculate nucleus, pretectal nuclear complex and the Edinger–Westphal nucleus. The oculomotor system incorporates the oculomotor, trochlear and abducens cranial nerve nuclei as well as the parabigeminal nucleus, while the accessory optic system includes the dorsal, lateral and medial terminal nuclei. The extent of similarity to other carnivores in the systems-level organization of these systems indicates that the manner in which these systems process visual information is likely to be consistent with that found, for example, in the well-studied domestic cat. It would appear that the sociality of the African wild dog is dependent upon the processing of information extracted from the visual system in the higher-order cognitive and affective neural systems.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)3262-3284
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number18
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2020


  • Carnivora
  • RRID: AB_10000321
  • RRID: AB_10000323
  • RRID: AB_10000340
  • RRID: AB_10000343
  • RRID: AB_11204707
  • RRID: AB_2079751
  • RRID: AB_2088494
  • RRID: AB_2187552
  • RRID: AB_509997
  • RRID: AB_91545


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