Lateral geniculate nucleus

The lateral geniculate nucleus is a relay center in the visual pathway from the eye to the brain. It receives a major sensory input from the retina via the axons of ganglion cells.

  • The thalamus which houses the lateral geniculate nucleus is a small structure within the brain, located just above the brain stem between the cerebral cortex and the midbrain and has extensive nerve connections to both.
  • The lateral geniculate nucleus specializes in processing information from both eyes and the brain. It resolves temporal and spatial correlations between different inputs, which helps organize the sequence of events over time and the relationship of objects within the visual field.
  • Some correlations deal with signals received from one eye, while others deal with the left and right visual fields captured by both eyes. This helps produce a three-dimensional representation of the visual field.
  • The lateral geniculate nucleus is the central connection for the optic nerve to the primary visual cortex of the occipital lobe.
  • Both the left and right hemispheres of the brain contain a lateral geniculate nucleus.
  • There are three major cell types in the lateral geniculate nucleus which connect to three distinct types of ganglion cells:
    • P cells send axons to the parvocellular layer of the lateral geniculate nucleus.
    • M cells send axons to the magnocellular layer.
    • K cells send axons to the koniocellular layer.