Functional properties of the corticotectal projection in the golden hamster

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Comparative Neurology








Approximately 31% of the cells recorded in the hamster's superior colliculus could be activated by stimulation of the ipsilateral primary visual cortex. While cortically activated cells were encountered in all laminae of the colliculus where visual cells were isolated, the highest probability of driving visual cells was observed in the deeper laminae, that is, those ventral to the stratum opticum. Response latency, jitter (latency variability), latency shifts as a function of shock intensity, thresholds, and spike numbers did not vary as a function of depth in the colliculus. There was a clear correspondence between the visual fields of the best cortical stimulus points and the receptive fields of cortically activated cells recorded in the superficial laminae of the colliculus. However, there was considerably less retinotopic fidelity for the cortical areas from which cells isolated in the deeper laminae could be driven. This suggests a greater degree of convergence from relatively widespread cortical regions upon visual cells of the deeper laminae. The visual response properties (directional selectivity, speed preferences, and receptive field organization) of the cortically activated cells did not differ appreciably from the overall sample of visual cells recorded in the colliculus. Only 3 of the 159 cells tested were driven by stimulation of the contralateral visual cortex and two of these were responsive only at very long latencies. Copyright © 1978 The Wistar Institute Press

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