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An evoked potential consisting of four postsynaptic components was recorded in the guinea-pig superior colliculus following electrical stimulation of the contralateral optic nerve. This potential was generated in response to the activation of four populations of optic nerve fibres with different conduction velocities. Current source-density analysis revealed that the two slower conducting fibre populations synapse in the upper third of the stratum griseum superficiale on dendrites whose cell bodies appear to be found in the lower part of this layer and in the stratum opticum. The two faster conducting populations synapse deeper, near the border of the stratum griseum superficiale and stratum opticum, on neurons with cell bodies that may lie towards the upper part of the stratum griseum superficiale. The locations of these postsynaptic sites correspond to the layers in which the optic nerve terminates as revealed by neuroanatomical tracing techniques. Furthermore, neurons of the shape and orientation predicted by the current source-density analysis were found in the superficial layers by using the Golgi-Cox technique.


Journal article


Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci

Publication Date





129 - 146


Action Potentials, Afferent Pathways, Animals, Autoradiography, Calcium, Electric Stimulation, Evoked Potentials, Functional Laterality, Guinea Pigs, Nerve Degeneration, Optic Nerve, Proline, Retina, Superior Colliculi, Synapses, Tritium