The Second Visual System of The Tree Shrew

J Comp Neurol. 2019 Feb 15;527(3):679-693. doi: 10.1002/cne.24413. Epub 2018 Mar 9.


This review provides a historical account of the discovery of secondary visual pathways (from retina to the superior colliculus to the dorsal thalamus and extrastriate cortex), and Vivien Casagrande's pioneering studies of this system using the tree shrew as a model. Subsequent studies of visual pathways in the tree shrew are also reviewed, beginning with a description of the organization and central projections of the tree shrew retina. The organization and connectivity of second visual system components that include the retino-recipient superior colliculus, tecto-recipient pulvinar nucleus and its projections, and the tecto-recipient dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and its projections are detailed. Potential functions of the second visual system are discussed in the context of this work and in the context of the behavioral studies that initially inspired the secondary visual system concept.

Keywords: Tupaia; pulvinar; striate cortex; superior colliculus; temporal cortex; thalamus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Pulvinar / cytology
  • Pulvinar / physiology*
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Superior Colliculi / cytology
  • Superior Colliculi / physiology*
  • Tupaiidae
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / cytology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*