A collicular visual cortex: Neocortical space for an ancient midbrain visual structure.


Center for Neural Circuits and Behavior, Neurobiology Section, and Department of Neuroscience, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. [Email] [Email]


Visual responses in the cerebral cortex are believed to rely on the geniculate input to the primary visual cortex (V1). Indeed, V1 lesions substantially reduce visual responses throughout the cortex. Visual information enters the cortex also through the superior colliculus (SC), but the function of this input on visual responses in the cortex is less clear. SC lesions affect cortical visual responses less than V1 lesions, and no visual cortical area appears to entirely rely on SC inputs. We show that visual responses in a mouse lateral visual cortical area called the postrhinal cortex are independent of V1 and are abolished upon silencing of the SC. This area outperforms V1 in discriminating moving objects. We thus identify a collicular primary visual cortex that is independent of the geniculo-cortical pathway and is capable of motion discrimination.

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