The lateral cortex of the inferior colliculus receives information from both auditory and somatosensory structures and is thought to play a role in multisensory integration. Previous studies in the rat have shown that this nucleus contains a series of distinct anatomical modules that stain for GAD-67 as well as other neurochemical markers. In the present study, we sought to better characterize these modules in the mouse inferior colliculus and determine whether the connectivity of other neural structures with the lateral cortex is spatially related to the distribution of these neurochemical modules. Staining for GAD-67 and other markers revealed a single modular network throughout the rostrocaudal extent of the mouse lateral cortex. Somatosensory inputs from the somatosensory cortex and dorsal column nuclei were found to terminate almost exclusively within these modular zones. However, projections from the auditory cortex and central nucleus of the inferior colliculus formed patches that interdigitate with the GAD-67-positive modules. These results suggest that the lateral cortex of the mouse inferior colliculus exhibits connectional as well as neurochemical modularity and may contain multiple segregated processing streams. This finding is discussed in the context of other brain structures in which neuroanatomical and connectional modularity have functional consequences.
- Tract tracing
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