Morphological and Physiological Studies of Tectal and Pretectal Neurons in the Frog

  • Nobuyoshi Matsumoto


Intracellular recording and staining techniques were applied to visual neurons in frog’s optic tectum and pretectum to study receptive fields, response characteristics, cellular morphologies, axonal projections, and synaptic organizations. In the first experiment, response properties of labeled neurons, classified according to extracellular studies, could be correlated with morphology. Class T5.1 neurons were identified as large ganglionic neurons in layer 8 or 7, and pear-shaped neurons in layer 8 or the top of 6. No obvious relationship was found between physiological and morphological properties. Class T5.2 neurons were located on top of layer 6 and resembled the pyramidal type; an axon could be traced to the medulla oblongata. Class T5.3 neurons were identified as large ganglionic neurons in layer 8. Neurons responding predominantly by IPSPs could be identified as pear-shaped neurons in layers 2, 4, or 6. In the second experiment, axonal projections of neurons in the pretectal caudal thalamus were examined Some neurons from the Lpd (lateral posterodorsal) nucleus projected bilaterally to both optic lobes or to the contralateral tectum; from P (posterocentral) nucleus neurons projected toward the medulla oblongata. To electrical stimulation of the optic tract, the former neurons exhibited an EPSP and the latter an EPSP followed by IPSP. In the third experiment, a pulse-triggered averaging technique was applied to investigate retino-tectal connections. Synaptic organizations between retinal on-off fibers and tectal E-E type neurons (EPSP at on and at off of diffuse light) and EI-EI type neurons (EPSP and IPSP at on and at off of diffuse light), respectively, were examined. It was found that tectal neurons of these types are monosynaptically excited by on-off retinal fibers.


Medulla Oblongata Optic Tectum Diffuse Light Axonal Projection Bufo Bufo 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nobuyoshi Matsumoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biophysical Engineering Faculty of Engineering ScienceOsaka UniversityToyonaka, Osaka 560Japan

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