The concentrations of adrenaline, dopamine and noradrenaline were measured in 3 regions of the domestic chick telencephalon: (a) the Wulst; (b) a medial forebrain sample comprising mainly the intermediate part of the medial hyperstriatum ventrale (IMHV); and (c) a basal forebrain sample comprising mainly paleostriatum augmentatum. There was no significant left/right hemispheric asymmetry in the concentration of any of these catecholamines in any region studied. Adrenaline was undetectable in the Wulst and medial forebrain samples and only trace amounts were found in the basal forebrain samples of 1-day-old, light-reared chicks. Dopamine concentrations of 9.13 +/- 1.13 (S.E.M.) ng/g were present in the Wulst, 16.66 +/- 2.56 ng/g in the medial forebrain and 121.19 +/- 33.06 ng/g in the basal forebrain samples at hatching. These levels did not alter with age or with visual experience of an imprinting stimulus during the first 50 h post-hatch. At hatching, noradrenaline concentrations of 35.83 +/- 8.61 ng/g were present in the Wulst, 26.09 +/- 3.75 ng/g in the medial forebrain and 53.13 +/- 7.85 in the basal forebrain samples. The noradrenaline concentrations in the Wulst and medial forebrain samples increased significantly over the first 50 h post-hatch in dark-reared chicks. Visual experience increased noradrenaline levels in all 3 regions of the telencephalon studied.
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