An avian retinopetal nucleus, the isthmo-optic nucleus (ION), is known to receive predominant inputs from the ipsilateral optic tectum. We injected biocytin into the ION in the Japanese quail, and retrogradely labeled tectal neurons projecting to the isthmo-optic (IO) neurons, or the tecto-IO neurons, with an extraordinary Golgi-like quality. Somata of the tecto-IO neurons were located in layer 9 of the tectum. The tecto-IO neurons did not have apical dendrites extending into superficial retino-recipient layers (layers 2–7), but had descending dendrites ramified in layers 9–12. They also possessed short ascending dendrites ramifying in the upper half of layer 9. This dendritic morphology suggests that main input to the tecto-IO neurons may not be of retinal origin. The tecto-IO neurons were spatially arranged in a regular pattern. Distances between neighboring tecto-IO neurons were 50–100 μm. The dendrites of each tecto-IO neuron were not widely dispersed in the horizontal plane, and were confined in a vertically oriented column of 100–200 μm diameter. They possessed axon collaterals extending horizontally in layers 12 and 13. The estimated total number of the tecto-IO neurons was approximately 7000–10,000, which is almost identical to the total cell number of the IO neurons. To label a small number of the tecto-IO terminals, biocytin was injected into a confined area of the optic tectum. The tecto-IO fibers densely arborized in a restricted space of the ION, which is comparable to the dimension of dendritic arborization of individual IO neurons. It is suggested that single tecto-IO neurons may make contact with single IO neurons. IO neurons are known to make synaptic contact with single target cells (association cells of Cajal) in the retina (Uchiyama & Ito, 1993; Uchiyama et al., 1995). The arborization pattern of the tecto-IO neurons' dendrites indicates that the tecto-IO neurons receive very local information in sensory and sensorimotor coordinate space. The morphology of the tecto-IO terminals suggests that the spatially confined information that drives the tecto-IO neurons is sent in parallel to single IO neurons, and then further to single retinal association cells of Cajal. Cellular-level restricted projection patterns of the tecto-isthmo-retinal system may reflect its function for centrifugal control of retinal function.