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J Comp Neurol. 1995 Dec 18;363(3):439-60.

Projections from visual areas of the cerebral cortex to pretectal nuclear complex, terminal accessory optic nuclei, and superior colliculus in macaque monkey.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita' di Modena, Italia.


The purpose of this study was to analyze the projections from visually related areas of the cerebral cortex of rhesus monkey to subcortical nuclei involved in eye-movement control; i.e., the pretectal nuclear complex, the terminal nuclei of the accessory optic system (AOS), and the superior colliculus (SC). The anterograde tracer 3H-leucine was pressure injected bilaterally into the cortex of six monkeys (for a total of 12 cases) involving the primary visual cortex (area 17); the medial prestriate cortex (medial 18/19); dorsomedial area 19; the caudal portion of the cortex of the superior temporal sulcus, upper bank (cytoarchitectural area OAa) and lower bank (area PGa); the lower bank of the caudal lateral intraparietal sulcus (area POa); and the inferior parietal lobule (area 7). The results revealed that the pretectal nucleus of the optic tract received inputs from medial prestriate cortex, dorsomedial part of area 19, OAa, and PGa. The posterior pretectal nucleus received sparse projections from area 7 and the cortex lining the intraparietal sulcus (dorsomedial part of area 19 and POa). The pretectal olivary nucleus was targeted by neurons in cortex of dorsomedial area 19, and the anterior pretectal nucleus was targeted by neurons in both dorsomedial 19 and area 7. The nuclei of the AOS (dorsal terminal; lateral terminal; and interstitial nuclei of the superior fasciculus, posterior and medial fibers) received projections exclusively from areas OAa and PGa. Furthermore, in one case with PGa injection, the medial terminal nucleus, dorsal portion, was also labeled. The visual cortical areas studied projected differentially upon the SC laminae. The primary visual area 17 projected only to the superficial laminae, i.e., stratum zonale (SZ), stratum griseum superficiale (SGS), and stratum opticum (SO). On the other hand, the medial portion of the prestriate cortex and caudal OAa and PGa targeted the superficial and intermediate laminae, i.e., SZ, SGS, SO, and stratum griseum intermediale (SGI), whereas caudal area POa projected primarily to the intermediate layer SGI. Rostral area 7 (mainly 7b) neurons terminated in the stratum album intermediale (SAI); no SC terminals were found in a case in which caudal area 7 (mainly 7a) was injected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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