Illustrated Review of the Ventral Striatum’s Olfactory Tubercle

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Modern neuroscience often relies upon artistic renderings to illustrate key aspects of anatomy. These renderings can be in 2 or even 3 dimensions. Three-dimensional renderings are especially helpful in conceptualizing highly complex aspects of neuroanatomy which otherwise are not visually apparent in 2 dimensions or even intact biological samples themselves. Here, we provide 3 dimensional renderings of the gross- and cellular-anatomy of the rodent olfactory tubercle. Based upon standing literature and detailed investigations into rat brain specimens, we created biologically inspired illustrations of the olfactory tubercle in 3 dimensions as well as its connectivity with olfactory bulb projection neurons, the piriform cortex association fiber system, and ventral pallidum medium spiny neurons. Together, we intend for these illustrations to serve as a resource to the neuroscience community in conceptualizing and discussing this highly complex and interconnected brain system with established roles in sensory processing and motivated behaviors.

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