About this Research Topic
The superior colliculus is a midbrain structure that processes multi-sensory information and mediates behaviors such as orientation and avoidance. The tectum is a homologous structure in lower vertebrates such as fish and birds, serving as a main visual center. Historically, the superior colliculus has served as an excellent model for understanding circuit mechanisms of eye movement control in primates. With the advent of sophisticated experimental approaches--such as in vivo two-photon imaging, optogenetics, viral vectors, and genetic labelling--the superior colliculus of rodents has been attracting more attention as a model system for investigating circuit mechanisms that link sensory input to behavioral output. A few examples of recent breakthroughs in the rodent superior colliculus are the discovery of an orientation column-like structure through in vivo two-photon imaging, and the genetic identification of cell types and neuronal pathways for freezing and escaping behaviors through genetic and optogenetic approaches. We predict that more and more exciting findings will be made over the next few years.
The aim of this Research Topic is to provide an arena for reviewing accumulated knowledge, discussing the latest findings, and providing perspectives on cell types, circuits, computations and behavioral control of the superior colliculus and the tectum, from primates to fish, and to provide a multifaceted perspective on the neuronal circuit structure and function of this midbrain structure. A comparison of findings from a spectrum of animal models can point to shared and unshared mechanisms across species.
The focus of this Research Topic encompasses a wide range of studies, from cell type classification, circuit anatomy, sensory processing, multi-sensory integration, sensorimotor transformation, decision making to circuit development. We hope this arena will catalyze exciting and insightful discussions and help to highlight future directions in this research domain. We welcome all types of submissions.
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