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The pretectal complex in the opossum didelphis marsupialis aurita projections from the striate cortex and correlation with retinal terminal fields


, : The pretectal complex in the opossum didelphis marsupialis aurita projections from the striate cortex and correlation with retinal terminal fields. Brain Research 207(2): 267-278

Two terminal fields were revealed in the pretectal complex of the opossum [D. marsupialis aurita] by the Fink-Heimer method after striate cortical lesions. A rostal field is located within a rostrolateral strip of the compact part of the anterior pretectal nucleus, where a partial topographic arrangement of this projection is present. A caudal field is located within the sub-brachial nucleus of the optic tract, located between the brachium of the superior colliculus and the posterior pretectal nucleus. The corticotopic projection to this field is mirror-symmetric to that found in the superior colliculus, and overlaps a bilateral projection from the retina. Based on hodological evidence, the nucleus of the optic tract in the opossum can apparently be subdivided in an intrabrachial nucleus receiving a direct projection from the contralateral retina, and a sub-brachial nucleus receiving projections from both retinae and from the striate cortex. The pretectal complex, as the superior colliculus, can be anatomically subdivided in a superficial region receiving visual input (the optic pretectum) and a deep region only remotely connected to the visual system. The optic pretectum differs from the superior colliculus in displaying a multiple-map arrangement within its constituent nuclei, instead of a single continuous representation of the visual field.

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