Inputs from motor and premotor cortex to the superior colliculus of the macaque monkey

Behav Brain Res. Nov-Dec 1985;18(2):95-105. doi: 10.1016/0166-4328(85)90066-x.


In retrograde studies of corticotectal projections in the monkey using horseradish peroxidase (HRP), projections of the frontal lobes were found to originate not only from the frontal eye fields and prefrontal association cortex but also from both motor and premotor cortex. Even small HRP injections into the superficial layers of the superior colliculus yielded labelled cells in the agranular cortex (area 6) of the anterior bank of the arcuate sulcus. After large collicular injections affecting all layers, labelled cells were found in both motor and premotor cortex. This projection appeared to be topographically organized. Injections into the anterolateral parts of the superior colliculus labelled cells that were distributed within the presumed finger-hand--arm-shoulder representation, whereas after more caudal injections labelled cells occurred more in the presumed arm-trunk representation. The supplementary motor cortex was not found to contain labelled cells. The corticotectal cells in the motor cortex differed from those in the premotor cortex in their size distribution; the former being small, the latter both small and large. The functional significance of the motor and premotor input into the superior colliculus for sensory, and particularly visual, guidance of movements is discussed in view of a collicular role in the extrapersonal space representation and of its possible participation in steering arm and hand movements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Macaca
  • Microinjections
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Superior Colliculi / anatomy & histology*


  • Horseradish Peroxidase