Abstract The mesencephalic and diencephalic afferent connections to the superior colliculus and the central gray substance in the cat were examined by means of the retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP). After deep collicular injections numerous labeled cells were consistently found in the parabigeminal nucleus, the mesencephalic reticular formation, substantia nigra pars reticulata, the nucleus of posterior commissure, the pretectal area, zona incerta, and the ventral nucleus of the lateral geniculate body. A smaller number of cells was found in the inferior colliculus, the nucleus of the lateral lemniscus, the central gray substance, nucleus reticularis thalami, the anterior hypothalamic area, and, in some cases, in the contralateral superior colliculus, Forel's field, and the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus. Only the parabigeminal nucleus and the pretectal area showed labeled cells following injections in the superficial layers of the superior colliculus. In the cats submitted to injections in the central gray substance, labeled cells were consistently found in the contralateral superior colliculus, the mesencephalic reticular formation, substantia nigra pars reticulata, zona incerta and various hypothalamic areas, especially the ventromedial nucleus. In some cases, HRP-positive cells were seen in the nucleus of posterior commissure, the pretectal area, Forel's field, and nucleus reticularis thalami. A large injection in the mediodorsal part of the caudal mesencephalic reticular formation, which included the superior colliculus and the central gray substance, resulted in numerous labeled cells in nucleus reticularis thalami. The findings are discussed with respect to the suggested functional division of the superior colliculus into deep and superficial layers. Furthermore, the possible implications of labeled cells in zona incerta and the reticular thalamic nucleus are briefly discussed.