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SIV neurons are excited almost exclusively by somatosensory stimuli.

SIV neurons' activity can be inhibited by activity in the auditory FAES.

The function of SIV is unknown.

Dehner et al. speculate that the inhibitory influence of FAES activity on SIV activity is connected to modality-specific attention: According to that hypothesis, an auditory stimulus which leads to strong FAES activity will suppress activity in FAES and thus block out cortical somatosensory input to the SC.

SIV is somatotopically organized.

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.