The lateral cortex of the inferior colliculus (LCIC) forms a nexus between diverse multisensory, motor, and neuromodulatory streams. Like other integration hubs, it contains repeated neurochemical motifs with distinct inputs: GABA-rich modules are innervated by somatosensory structures, while auditory inputs to the LCIC target the surrounding extramodular matrix. To investigate potential mechanisms of convergence between these input streams, we used laser photostimulation circuit mapping to interrogate local LCIC circuits in adult mice of both sexes and found that input patterns are highly dependent on cell type (GABAergic/non-GABAergic) and location (module/matrix). At the circuit level, these inputs yield a directional flow of local information, primarily from the matrix to the modules. Further, the two compartments were found to project to distinct targets in the midbrain and thalamus. These data show that, while connectional modularity in the LCIC gives rise to segregated input-output channels, local circuits provide the architecture for integration between these two streams.
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