group of cells, constituting several subnuclei, located rostral to the superior colliculus in the “pretectal” area; these cells receive input from retinal ganglion cells (via the optic tract) and project bilaterally to the Edinger-Westphal nucleus; they serve as a relay center for the pupillary light reflex pathway. The group consists of the nucleus pretectalis anterior [TA] (anterior pretectal nucleus [TA]), nucleus pretectalis olivaris [TA] (olivary pretectal nucleus [TA]), and nucleus pretectalis posterior [TA] (posterior pretectal nucleus [TA]). The nucleus tractus optici [TA] (nucleus of optic tract) is also usually grouped as one of the pretectal nuclei.
Synonym(s): nuclei pretectalesTA
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