Chapter

Superior Colliculus

Katsuyuki Kaneda and Tadashi Isa

in Handbook of Brain Microcircuits

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195389883
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965137 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780195389883.003.0030
Superior Colliculus

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The superior colliculus (SC) is a midbrain center that integrates various kinds of sensory inputs and transforms information into a command signal to initiate orienting behaviors such as saccadic eye and head movements. This chapter first describes input–output organization of the SC circuitry and intrinsic excitatory/inhibitory connectivity between superficial and deeper layers in the SC that is crucial to generate and regulate bursts of discharges, which trigger initiation of saccades. Recent in vitro experiments have shown that the generation of bursts is dependent on NMDA receptors and is enhanced by blockade of GABAA- and GABAB receptors. The chapter then discusses the functional role of extrinsic GABAergic and cholinergic inputs in modulating the activity of the SC local circuit with both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms.

Chapter.  2072 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

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