The directional effects of passive eye movement on the directional visual responses of single units in the pigeon optic tectum

P C Knox, H C Whalley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We have investigated the visual responses of 184 single units located in the superficial layers of the optic tectum (OT) of the decerebrate, paralysed pigeon. Visual responses were similar to those reported in non-decerebrate preparations; most units responded best to moving visual stimuli, 18% were directionally selective (they had a clear preference for a particular direction of visual stimulus movement), 76% were plane-selective (they responded to movement in either direction in a particular plane). However, we also found that a high proportion of units showed some sensitivity to the orientation of visual stimuli. We examined the effects of extraocular muscle (EOM) afferent signals, induced by passive eye movement (PEM), on the directional visual responses of units. Visual responses were most modified by particular directions of eye movement, although there was no unique relationship between the direction of visual stimulus movement to which an individual unit responded best and the direction of eye movement that caused the greatest modification of that visual response. The results show that EOM afferent signals, carrying information concerning the direction of eye movement, reach the superficial layers of the OT in the pigeon and there modify the visual responses of units in a manner that suggests some role for these signals in the processing of visual information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-8
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume116
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Afferent Pathways
  • Animals
  • Columbidae
  • Decerebrate State
  • Eye Movements
  • Neurons
  • Superior Colliculi
  • Visual Pathways

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