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Exp Brain Res. 1992;88(1):181-6.

Visual, auditory and somatosensory convergence in output neurons of the cat superior colliculus: multisensory properties of the tecto-reticulo-spinal projection.

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Department of Anatomy, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298.


A select population of superior colliculus (SC) neurons receives and integrates information from the visual, auditory and somatosensory systems. Determining which SC neurons comprise this population and where they send their multisensory messages is important in understanding the functional impact of the SC on attentive and orientation behavior. One of the major routes by which the SC influences these behaviors is the tecto-reticulo-spinal tract, a descending pathway that plays an integral role in the orientation of the eyes, ears and head. Of the 182 tecto-reticulo-spinal neurons (TRSNs) encountered in the present study, almost all (94%) responded to sensory stimuli and the overwhelming majority (84%) were multisensory. The present results demonstrate that the TRSN serves as an important link among the different sensory systems and provides a substrate through which they may gain access to the circuitry mediating orientation behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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