The inferior colliculus is a part of the midbrain that serves as a principal auditory center for the body. It is present as a pair of lower lobes that processes auditory signals from both ears. It is sub-divided into the external cortex, lateral cortex, and central cortex. It also performs the function of integrating multiple audio signals that help to filter sounds induced from vocalizing, breathing, and chewing activities. This part of the brain shows a comparatively higher rate of metabolic activity than several other areas of the brain. Its input connectivity comprises a range of brain-stem nuclei. All of them deliver projections to the core nucleus bilaterally with the exception of the lateral lemniscus. Some of the lateral lemniscus nerves run into the thalamus and the temporal lobe cortex, where the integration of cognitive and sensory signals occurs. The inferior colliculus acts as the pathway for almost all auditory signals in the human body. It performs the fundamental roles of signal integration, frequency recognition, and pitch discrimination. It also processes sensory signals from the superior colliculi.
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In Depth: Inferior colliculus