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Deep dissection of brain-stem. Lateral view.
Part of Midbrain
Latin tectum
NeuroNames hier-448
NeuroLex ID Midbrain tectum
Tectum of midbrain
TA A14.1.06.601
FMA 83902
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The tectum (Latin: roof) is a region of the brain, specifically the dorsal part of the midbrain (mesencephalon). This is contrasted with the tegmentum, which refers to the region ventral 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.

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)

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