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The corpora quadrigemina (Latin for "quadruplet bodies", singular: corpus quadrigeminum) are the four colliculi, two inferior and two superior, that sit on the quadrigeminal plate on the posterior surface of the midbrain.
The corpora quadrigemina are reflex centers involving vision and hearing:
- superior colliculi: involved in preliminary visual processing and control of eye movements
- inferior colliculi: involved in auditory processing; they receive input from various brainstem nuclei and project to the medial geniculate nucleus of the thalamus, which relays auditory information to the primary auditory cortex
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.