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Published April 6, 2022 | Submitted
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Functional Cell Types in the Mouse Superior Colliculus


The superior colliculus (SC) represents a major visual processing station in the mammalian brain that receives input from many types of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). How many parallel channels exist in the SC, and what information does each encode? Here we recorded from mouse superficial SC neurons under a battery of visual stimuli including those used for classification of RGCs. An unsupervised clustering algorithm identified 24 functional types based on their visual responses. They fall into two groups: one that responds similarly to RGCs, and another with more diverse and specialized stimulus selectivity. The second group is dominant at greater depths, consistent with a vertical progression of signal processing in the SC. Cells of the same functional type tend to cluster near each other in anatomical space. Compared to the retina, the visual representation in the SC has lower dimensionality, consistent with a sifting process along the visual pathway.

Additional Information

The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license. Version 1 - April 5, 2022; Version 2 - August 1, 2022. M.M. was supported by grants from NIH (R01 NS111477) and from the Simons Foundation (543015SPI). Y.-t.L was supported by a grant from the NEI (K99EY028640) and a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellowship. Author contributions: Y.-t.L designed the study, performed all experiments, interpreted results, and wrote the manuscript. M.M. helped design the study, interpret results, and write the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests. Data and code availability: Data and code will be available in a public repository following acceptance of the manuscript.

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Submitted - 2022.04.01.486789v2.full.pdf


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