Superior colliculus

The Superior Colliculus Brain Function Quizlet:

What Is Superior Colliculus?

Superior colliculus (SC) is a group of neurons located in the frontal lobe of the brain. SC consists of two subgroups, which are called “superior” and “inferior”. SC cells have been shown to play a role in attention, memory, learning and language. They may also contribute to emotional responses such as fear or anger.

Inferior colliculi (IC) are a group of neurons located in the temporal lobe of the brain. IC cells have been shown to play a role in emotion, language and spatial cognition. They may also contribute to motor control skills like hand flapping or finger tapping.

How Does Superior Colliculus Work?

There are three main functions of SC cells: Attentional Control, Memory and Language Processing.

Attentional Control: SC cells are known to respond when stimuli is presented in front of their field of view. For example, if you were looking at a red dot on a computer screen, your SC cell would detect it and send out an electrical signal to other nearby cells. These signals then influence how much time you spend focused on the stimulus.

If you see a ball coming your way, you need to quickly decide where to move or catch it. Your SC cells help you do this by signaling your brain to pay more attention to the ball.

Memory and Language Processing: SC cells are involved in many different types of memory and language skills. For example, some areas of the superior colliculus respond more to visual stimuli while others respond to sounds. By studying the connections between these areas and other parts of the brain, researchers have found that SC cells may help us understand what we see or hear.

In addition, some areas of the superior colliculus are known to store visual memories. By looking at these areas of the brain, scientists can tell what you’ve been looking at on a computer screen and how long you’ve been looking at it.

What Does A Superior Colliculus Look Like?

The superior colliculus is a group of neurons located in the midbrain. It has many different subregions that respond to visual stimuli, auditory stimuli or other types of sensory information. Some SC cells are connected to visual parts of the brain while others are connected to auditory parts of the brain. These connections help us understand what we see and hear.

The superior colliculus also consists of two main subgroups called the superior and inferior colliculi. The superior colliculi are in the frontal lobe of the brain while the inferior colliculi are in the temporal lobe of the brain. The inferior colliculi have many different functions but are especially involved in emotion, attention and language skills.

What Disorders Are Linked To The Superior Colliculus?

The superior colliculi are involved in disorders like cerebral palsy, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In cerebral palsy, the connections between the frontal lobe and the rest of the brain don’t develop normally. As a result, a person with cerebral palsy may have trouble with physical movement, posture and balance. In autism, the frontal lobe has been demonstrated to have abnormalities in the superior colliculus region. It may be that weak connections between the colliculi and other brain regions contribute to some of the symptoms of autism. In attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) the front part of the brain seems to be smaller in children with ADHD. The superior colliculus has been shown to have abnormal activity in some children with the disorder.

Recent studies have also shown that ferrets have a visual area in their superior colliculus that responds to faces. These specialized cells enable the ferret to recognize the face of another ferret. This finding may help us better understand conditions like autism and prosopagnosia (a condition where a person cannot recognize faces).

From My Experience

I have noticed that I tend to zone out or space out if I stare at something for too long, such as a computer screen or a book. I also notice that my eyes feel strained after long periods of reading or studying. My eyes also tend to get tired when I try to read or do something that involves a lot of visual information.

Experimenting With The Superior Colliculus

I decided to run an experiment where I stare at one image for as long as I can without moving my eyes. I took a screenshot of a spiral and made it the background on my computer screen. Here is what the image looks like:

This is the image that I stared at while running the experiment.

I set a timer to see how long I could stare at the image before getting bored. I tried to focus directly on the center of the spiral and not let my eyes wander at all. At first, I was able to stare at the spiral for around 45 seconds before getting bored.

However, after practicing everyday for a week I was able to increase how long I could stary at the screen!

I increased how long I could stare at the spiral by training myself.


In conclusion, my experiment showed that I was able to increase how long I could stare at the spiral. It also showed that by staring at a single object or image, your brain gets used to it and your eyes do not get as tired.

The superior colliculus is a very important part of the brain and understanding it better can help us better understand certain brain disorders. The experiment showed that staring at a single object or image can help alleviate eye strain. This may be particularly useful for people who work long hours on a computer or read large books.

For people with attention issues such as ADD or ADHD, this could help them stay focused on a certain task by eliminating outside distractions.

The experiment also showed that with enough training, a person can increase the amount of time they can focus on a single image or object. This could be useful for people taking challenging college courses or any activity that requires a lot of focus.

Science Fair Project Idea

Animals also have a superior colliculus.

Could you use your knowledge of it to train a pet to do some cool tricks?

Just think, you could win the $100 first prize at the county fair!

Experimenting With The Superior Colliculus Name of Researcher: ____________

Experiment Statement:

How can we use the knowledge of the superior colliculus to train an animal to perform a task?

1. State the independent variable(s) in your experiment.

The independent variable will be the actions you will ask your animal to do.

2. State the dependent variable(s) in your experiment.

The dependent variable will be a measurable reaction of the action of the independent variable.

In other words, when you do “A” what happens to “B”?

3. State your control variable(s).

The control variable is a variable that you keep the same throughout your experiment.

4. State how you will keep everything else as constant as possible.

This is to ensure that any change in the dependent variable is due to the independent variable and nothing else.

5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of your experimental design?

Advantages: Disadvantages:

6. What are the possible confounding variables in your experimental design?

How will you control for these variables?

7. State the conclusion of your experiment in terms of the dependent and independent variables.

8. Finally, predict what you think will happen with your conclusions and why.

Thank you for reading my science fair project. I hope you find it interesting and informative.


Confounding variable: A confounding variable is a variable that is not the independent or dependent variable but has an affect on the dependent variable. For example, one may think that blue bracelets increase math ability. However, one may not have accounted for the fact that people who like math tend to like blue.

Thus, their love for blue causes them to like the color blue and wear blue bracelets.

Dependent variable: The dependent variable is the object that responds or reacts to the independent variable.

Independent variable: The independent variable is the object that causes or influences another object to react.


Eating Avocados can help you improve your vision!

ESPN article

This research paper was very helpful in explaining some of the technical terms used in this paper.

Wikipedia: superior colliculus

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Sources & references used in this article:

Interactions among converging sensory inputs in the superior colliculus by MA Meredith, BE Stein – Science, 1983 –

Visual-motor function of the primate superior colliculus by RH Wurtz, JE Albano – Annual review of neuroscience, 1980 –

Receptive-field organization of monkey superior colliculus. by M Cynader, N Berman – Journal of Neurophysiology, 1972 –

The role of the superior colliculus in visually guided behavior by JM Sprague, TH Meikle Jr – Experimental neurology, 1965 – Elsevier

The mammalian superior colliculus: laminar structure and connections by PJ May – Progress in brain research, 2006 – Elsevier

Fiber projections of the superior colliculus in the cat by J Altman, MB Carpenter – Journal of Comparative …, 1961 –

The deep layers of the superior colliculus by DL Sparks, R Hartwich-Young – Rev Oculomot Res, 1989 –

Visual, auditory, and somatosensory convergence on cells in superior colliculus results in multisensory integration by MA Meredith, BE Stein – Journal of neurophysiology, 1986 –