Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research
On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
IBE, Chikera S; ONYEANUSI, Barth I and HAMBOLU, Joseph O. Functional morphology of the brain of the African giant pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus Waterhouse, 1840). Onderstepoort j. vet. res. [online]. 2014, vol.81, n.1, pp. 01-07. ISSN 2219-0635.
A gross morphological study of the brain of the African giant pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus Waterhouse, 1840) was undertaken in order to document its normal features and assess the structure-function paradigm. The study was conducted by direct observation of 29 adult African giant pouched rats' brains. In the telencephalon, the cerebral cortex was devoid of prominent gyri and sulci, but the large olfactory bulb and tract relaying impulses to the olfactory cortex were very prominent. The large size of the olfactory bulb correlated with the established sharp olfactory acuity of the rodent. In the mesencephalic tectum, the caudal colliculi were bigger than the rostral colliculi, indicating a more acute sense of hearing than sight. In the metencephalon, the cerebellar vermis, the flocculus and the paraflocculus were highly coiled and, thus, well developed. The myelencephalon revealed a better organised ventral surface than dorsal surface; the cuneate fascicle, the intermediate sulcus and the lateral sulcus were not evident on the dorsal surface, but there were clearly visible pyramids and olivary prominence on the ventral surface. In conclusion, the highly coiled cerebellar vermis, flocculus and paraflocculus, as well as the conspicuous pyramids and olivary prominence are indicative of a good motor coordination and balance in the African giant pouched rat.