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Deep dissection of brain-stem. Lateral view.
Part of Midbrain
Latin tectum
NeuroNames 465
NeuroLex ID birnlex_1032
TA A14.1.06.601
TH H3.
TE E5.
FMA 83902
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The tectum (Latin: roof) is a region of the brain, specifically the dorsal (top) part of the midbrain (mesencephalon)[1]. The position of the tectum is contrasted with the tegmentum, which refers to the region ventral (lower) to the ventricular system. The tectum is responsible for auditory and visual reflexes.

It is derived in embryonic development from the alar plate of the neural tube.


In adult humans, it only consists of the inferior and the superior colliculi.

Both colliculi also have descending projections to the paramedian pontine reticular formation and spinal cord, and thus can be involved in responses to stimuli faster than cortical processing would allow. Collectively the colliculi are referred to as the corpora quadrigemina.

The structure is supplied by quadrigeminal artery (a branch of posterior cerebral artery), and superior cerebellar artery.

Related terms[edit]

The term "tectal plate" (or "quadrigeminal plate") is used to describe the junction of the gray and white matter in the embryo. (ancil-453 at NeuroNames)

Additional images[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bear, Mark F.; Connors, Barry W.; Paradiso, Michael A. (2007). Neuroscience. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 9780781760034. 

External links[edit]