Visual Neuroscience

Afferent connectivity to different functional zones of the optic tectum in goldfish

M.P.  PÉREZ-PÉREZ  a1 , M.A.  LUQUE  a1 , L.  HERRERO  a1 , P.A.  NÚÑEZ-ABADES  a1 and B.  TORRES  a1 c1
a1 Lab. Neurobiología de Vertebrados, Dept. Fisiología y Zoología, Univ. Sevilla, Spain

Article author query
perez-perez mp   [Google Scholar] 
luque ma   [Google Scholar] 
herrero l   [Google Scholar] 
nunez-abades pa   [Google Scholar] 
torres b   [Google Scholar] 


This work studies the afferent connectivity to different functionally identified tectal zones in goldfish. The sources of afferents contributed to different degrees to the functionally defined zones. The dorsocentral area of the telencephalon was connected mainly with the ipsilateral anteromedial tectal zone. At diencephalic levels, neurons were found in three different regions: preoptic, thalamic, and pretectal. Preoptic structures (suprachiasmatic and preoptic nuclei) projected mainly to the anteromedial tectal zone, whereas thalamic (ventral and dorsal) and pretectal (central, superficial, and posterior commissure) nuclei projected to all divisions of the tectum. In the mesencephalon, the mesencephalic reticular formation, torus longitudinalis, torus semicircularis, and nucleus isthmi were, in the anteroposterior axis, topographically connected with the tectum. In addition, neurons in the contralateral tectum projected to the injected zones in a symmetrical point-to-point correspondence. At rhombencephalic levels, the superior reticular formation was connected to all studied tectal zones, whereas medial and inferior reticular formations were connected with medial and posterior tectal zones. The present results support a different quantitative afferent connectivity to each tectal zone, possibly based on the sensorimotor transformations that the optic tectum carries out to generate orienting responses.

(Received February 12 2003)
(Accepted July 3 2003)

Key Words: Optic tectum; Tectal afferents; Eye movements; Goldfish; Teleost.

c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: B. Torres, Dept. Fisiología y Zoología, Fac. Biología, Avda. Reina Mercedes, 6, 41012 Sevilla, Spain. E-mail: