The visual pathway is tasked with processing incoming signals from the retina and converting this information into adaptive behavior. Recent studies of the larval zebrafish tectum have begun to clarify how the 'micro-circuitry' of this highly organized midbrain structure filters visual input, which arrives in the superficial layers and directs motor output through efferent projections from its deep layers. The new emphasis has been on the specific function of neuronal cell types, which can now be reproducibly labeled, imaged and manipulated using genetic and optical techniques. Here, we discuss recent advances and emerging experimental approaches for studying tectal circuits as models for visual processing and sensorimotor transformation by the vertebrate brain.
© 2010 Nevin et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Nevin, Linda M.; Robles, Estuardo; Baier, Herwig; and Scott, Ethan K., "Focusing on Optic Tectum Circuitry through the Lens of Genetics" (2010). Neuroscience: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.