Functional organization of the ventral lateral geniculate complex of the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri): II. Connections with the cortex, thalamus, and brainstem

J Comp Neurol. 1993 Feb 1;328(1):21-42. doi: 10.1002/cne.903280103.


Connections of the ventral lateral geniculate complex (GLv) in the tree shrew were traced by anterograde and retrograde transport of WGA-HRP. The results buttress earlier findings that GLv in this species is composed of two main divisions, lateral and medial, each of which differs in its connections with the brainstem and cerebral cortex. The connections of the lateral division (GLv) suggest that it participates in visuosensory functions: it receives input from the retina, striate cortex, pretectum, and retino-recipient layers of the superior colliculus. These connections help clarify the identification of the internal and external subdivisions of GLv inasmuch as projections from both the superior colliculus and pretectum terminate in the external subdivision and each, in turn, receives a projection from the internal subdivision. Connections of the medial division suggest that this part of the nucleus is involved with visuomotor functions. Thus, the medio-caudal subdivision projects to the pontine nuclei, the prerubral field and the central lateral nucleus. The medio-caudal subdivision also receives projections from the lateral cerebellar nucleus, so that the GLv-ponto-cerebello-GLv loop involves mainly one subdivision of GLv. The medio-rostral subdivision receives projections from the pretectum and parietal cortex. Its output is directed primarily at the intermediate and deep layers of the superior colliculus. All of these targets of GLv, the pons, prerubral field, and deep layers of the superior colliculus, are known to play a role in the coordination of head and eye movements. Additional connections of GLv with the vestibular nuclei, intralaminar nuclei, hypothalamus, and facial motor nucleus are also described.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Stem / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebellum / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Geniculate Bodies / anatomy & histology*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Pons / anatomy & histology
  • Superior Colliculi / anatomy & histology
  • Thalamus / anatomy & histology*
  • Tupaia / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase