superior colliculus

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su·pe·ri·or col·lic·u·lus

the paired, larger, rounded anterior eminence of the laminae of mesencephalic tectum; major afferent connections of the superficial layers are the retina and striate cortex; input to deep layers of the colliculus are polymodal. Its efferent connections are with the lower brainstem and spinal cord (tectobulbar tract and tectospinal tract) and with the pulvinar and other cell groups in the caudal part of the thalamus; it participates in the extrageniculate visual pathway. The layers of the superior colliculus from superficial to deep are: zonal layer (stratum zonale), superficial gray layer (stratum griseum superficial), optic layer (stratum opticum), intermediate gray layer (stratum griseum intermedium), intermediate white layer (stratum medullare intermedium), deep gray layer (stratum griseum profundum), and deep white layer (stratum medullare profundum).


Visual field loss in a quarter of the visual field of the eye. The defect is usually bilateral, as it is caused by a lesion past the optic chiasma. It may be homonymous (binasal, bitemporal, upper or lower), crossed (one upper and the other lower), congruous (equal size of the defects), or incongruous (unequal size of the defects) (Fig. Q1). Syn. quadrantanopsia; quadrantic anopsia; quadrantic hemianopia. See hemianopia.
Fig. Q1 Complete, right, superior homonymous quadrantanopia due to a lesion of the optic radiations in the left temporal lobeenlarge picture
Fig. Q1 Complete, right, superior homonymous quadrantanopia due to a lesion of the optic radiations in the left temporal lobe


pl. colliculi; a small elevation.

caudal colliculus
see midbrain colliculus (below).
midbrain colliculus
there are four colliculi in the tectum of the midbrain, two caudal (inferior) and two rostral (superior) containing the visual and auditory reflex centers. Called also corpora quadrigemina.
seminal colliculus, colliculus seminalis
a prominent portion of the male urethral crest, on either side of which, depending on the species, are the openings of the vasa deferens or ejaculatory ducts; called also verumontanum.
superior colliculus
see midbrain colliculus (above).
References in periodicals archive ?
an associate professor in the Salk's Systems Neurobiology Laboratory, added: "We often look directly at attended objects and the superior colliculus is a major component of the motor circuits that control how we orient our eyes and head toward something seen or heard.
The researchers have recently discovered that activation of a primitive brain region, the deep layers of superior colliculus (DLSC), elicits defensive behaviours such as an exaggerated startle, hypervigilance, cowering, and escape.
And at the University of California at San Diego, philosopher and theoretical biologist Paul Churchland has modeled the superior colliculus, a brain region involved in such feats as grabbing a glass of water.
It is known that nerve cells in the superior colliculus, one of the brain regions responsible for processing sound, mature during infancy, and then develops a preference for specific sound directions.

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