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Vis Neurosci. 1989 Sep;3(3):183-206.

Centrifugal pathways to the retina: influence of the optic tectum.

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Institute for Sensory Research, Syracuse University, NY 13244-5290.


Two types of centrifugal pathways to the retina have been found in the vertebrates, according to the location of the cell bodies and presence or absence of connections with the optic tectum. One type is represented by the isthmo-optic nucleus (ION) of birds and, therefore, termed "ION-type" retinopetal system. The other type is termed "non-ION-type" retinopetal system. The ION-type retinopetal systems have been found in the cyclostomes, teleosts, reptiles, and birds. This review describes the anatomy and physiology of the ION-type retinopetal systems, mainly of birds and teleosts. On the basis of anatomical and physiological evidence cited in this review, the ION-type retinopetal systems can be regarded as the tectofugal pathways to the retina. The function of the ION-type retinopetal systems is discussed in detail, with special emphasis on their relation to the role of the tectum in mediating visuomotor behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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