Many of the assumptions of homology on which the standard nomenclature for the cell groups and fiber tracts of avian brains have been based are in error, and as a result that terminology promotes misunderstanding of the functional organization of avian brains and their evolutionary relationship to mammalian brains. Recognizing this problem, a number of avian brain researchers began an effort to revise the terminology, which culminated in the Avian Brain Nomenclature Forum, held at Duke University from July 18 to 20, 2002. In the new terminology approved at this Forum, the flawed conception that the telencephalon of birds consists nearly entirely of a hypertrophied basal ganglia has been purged from the telencephalic terminology, and the actual parts of the basal ganglia and its brainstem afferent cell groups have been given names reflecting their now evident homologies. The telencephalic regions that were erroneously named to reflect presumed homology to mammalian basal ganglia were renamed as parts of the pallium, using prefixes that retained most established abbreviations (to maintain continuity with the replaced nomenclature). Details of this meeting and its major conclusions are presented in this paper, and the details of the new terminology and its basis are presented in a longer companion paper. We urge all to use this new terminology, because we believe it will promote better communication among neuroscientists.
Indexing terms: pallium, basal ganglia, telencephalon, brainstem, evolution, terminology, birds, mammals