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Multi-sensory neurons in the SC are only in the intermediate and deep layers.

The most important cortical input to the SC (in cats) comes from layer V cortical neurons from a number of sub-regions of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (AES):

  • anterior ectosylvian visual area (AEV)
  • the auditory field of AES (FAES)
  • and the fourth somatosensory area (SIV)

These populations in themselves are uni-sensory.

Neurons that receive auditory and visual ascending input also receive (only) auditory and visual descending projections.

Most multisensory SC neurons project to brainstem and spinal chord.

There are monosynaptic excitatory AES-SC projections and McHaffie et al. state that "the predominant effect of AES on SC multisensory neurons is excitatory."

Hyde and Knudsen elaborate on which neurons in the owl optic tectum (OT) project where.

Hyde and Knudsen propose that the OT-IC projection conveys what they call a "template-based instructive signal" which aligns the auditory space map in ICx with the retinotopic space map in SC.