Connections and visual-field mapping in cat's tectoparabigeminal circuit

J Neurophysiol. 1979 Nov;42(6):1656-68. doi: 10.1152/jn.1979.42.6.1656.


1. The aim of these experiments was to analyze the organization of the reciprocal connections between the cat's superior colliculus and parabigeminal nucleus. Both physiological and anatomical techniques were employed. 2. A population of cells in the superficial gray and upper optic layers of the colliculus was labeled retrogradely by horseradish peroxidase injections into the parabigeminal nucleus. No other sources of input to the nucleus were found in the brain stem or diencephalon. 3. A map of the visual field within the parabigeminal nucleus was reconstructed by plotting visual receptive fields at 350 parabigeminal sites with microelectrodes. The map resembled that found in the colliculus, although it was considerably less orderly. The entire contralateral visual field was represented and, in addition, roughly the central 40 degrees of the ipsilateral hemifield was included; futhermore, the expansion of the central visual field was similar to that of the tectal map. 4. The return parabigeminal projections to the caudal parts of the two colliculi, representing the contralateral hemifields, were in register with the tectal visual-field maps. In contrast, the parabigeminal pathways to the anterior segments of the two colliculi, representing part of the ipsilateral visual fields, were not clearly topographic. The projection to this part of the contralateral colliculus showed little order, while that to the ipsilateral colliculus was extremely sparse. 5. A single site in the colliculus can be the target of axons from nonhomologous locations in the two parabigeminal nuclei; so that both parabigeminal inputs are in register with the tectal map.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Mesencephalon / anatomy & histology*
  • Mesencephalon / physiology
  • Superior Colliculi / anatomy & histology*
  • Superior Colliculi / physiology
  • Visual Fields
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*