Part of the midbrain tecturm consisting of paired bodies that sit caudal to the thalamus and surround the pineal gland in the mesencephalon of vertebrate brains. It comprises the rostral aspect of the midbrain, posterior to the periaqueductal gray and adjacent superior the inferior colliculus. The inferior and superior colliculi are known collectively as the corpora quadrigemina (Latin, quadruplet bodies). It consists of several identified cellular layers and also comprises the brachium of the superior colliculus and commissure of supeior colliculus from and Neuronames (MM). [ BIRNLEX:1040 ]

Synonyms: optic tectum anterior colliculus cranial colliculus anterior corpus quadrigeminum

This is just here as a test because I lose it

Term information


uberon_slim, efo_slim, pheno_slim, vertebrate_core

latin term
strata (grisea et alba) colliculi superioris [ NeuroNames:473 ]

latin term
colliculus cranialis [ NeuroNames:473 ]

latin term
corpus quadrigeminum superius [ NeuroNames:473 ]

taxonomic disambiguation
optic tectum [ NCBITaxon:7777 ZFA:0000445 NCBITaxon:32443 ]

latin term
nates [ NeuroNames:473 ]

latin term
strata (grisea et alba) colliculi cranialis [ NeuroNames:473 ]

latin term
colliculus superior [ NeuroNames:473 ]

latin term
colliculus rostralis [ NeuroNames:473 ]

latin term
colliculus bigeminalis oralis [ NeuroNames:473 ]


). In hagfish, lamprey, and shark it is a relatively small structure, but in teleost fish it is greatly expanded, in some cases becoming the largest structure in the brain. (See the adjoining drawing of a codfish brain.) In amphibians, reptiles, and especially birds it is also a very significant component, but in mammals it is dwarfed by the massive expansion of the cerebral cortex.

depicted by

external definition

The brain structure where the two separate inputs from the two eyes are combined into a single, integrated map.[AAO]

The roof of the midbrain, morphologically visible by the end of the segmentation period. Kimmel et al, 1995.[TAO]

has related synonym

colliculus bigeminalis oralis

colliculus cranialis

colliculus rostralis

corpora bigemina


strata (grisea et alba) colliculi cranialis

tectal lobe

strata (grisea et alba) colliculi superioris

colliculus superior

dorsal midbrain

optic tectum


layers of the superior colliculus

corpus quadrigeminum superius

tectum opticum

lobus opticus

optic lobe



taxon notes

The term SC is used when discussing mammals, and OT for other vertebrates[WP]

The tectum is a layered structure, with a number of layers that vary by species. The superficial layers are sensory-related, and receive input from the eyes as well as other sensory systems.[1] The optic tectum is one of the fundamental components of the vertebrate brain, existing across the full range of species from hagfish to human.[4] (See the brain article for background.) Some aspects of the structure are very consistent, including a structure composed of a number of layers, with a dense input from the optic nerve to the superficial layers and another strong input conveying somatosensory input to deeper layers. Other aspects are highly variable, such as the total number of layers (from 3 in the African lungfish to 15 in the goldfish[5]), and the number of different types of cells (from 2 in the lungfish to 27 in the house sparrow[5]