Jul 2, 2014

The mouse cortico-tectal projectome

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Bradly AliceaHong-Wei Dong


The superior colliculus (SC) is a midbrain structure that receives diverse and robust cortical inputs to drive a range of cognitive and sensorimotor behaviors. However, it remains unclear how descending cortical inputs arising from higher-order associative areas coordinate with SC sensorimotor networks to influence its outputs. In this study, we constructed a comprehensive map of all cortico-tectal projections and identified four collicular zones with differential cortical inputs: medial (SC.m), centromedial (SC.cm), centrolateral (SC.cl) and lateral (SC.l). Computational analyses revealed that cortico-tectal projections are organized as multiple subnetworks that are consistent with previously identified cortico-cortical and cortico-striatal subnetworks. Furthermore, we delineated the brain-wide input/output organization of each collicular zone and described a subset of their constituent neuronal cell types based on distinct connectional and morphological features. Altogether, this work provides a novel structural foundation for the integrative role of the SC in controlling cognition, orientation, and other sensorimotor behaviors.

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