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2004 | 64 | 2 | 209-228

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Motion sensitivity in cat?s superior colliculus: contribution of different visual processing channels to response properties of collicular neurons

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It is well established that neurons in the retinorecipient layers of superior colliculus (SC), the mammalian homologue of the optic tectum of other vertebrates, are extremely sensitive to moving stimuli. In our studies we have distinguished several functionally distinct groups of neurons in the retinorecipient layers of the SC of the cat on the basis of their velocity response profiles. Our data revealed substantial convergence of the Y and non-Y information channels on single SC neurons. Second, using the method of selective conduction block of the Y-type fibers in one optic nerve we have shown that responses of SC cells to high-velocity motion are dependant on the integrity of Y-type input. Third, in order to determine the degree of influence of the X- and W-type input on cellular responses we have examined spatial and temporal frequency response profiles of single collicular neurons using sinusoidal gratings drifting in the preferred direction. At any given eccentricity, most collicular neurons exhibited a preference for relatively very low spatial frequencies. The preference for low spatial frequencies combined with temporal frequency profiles of collicular neurons suggests that the Y and W-type inputs constitute the major functional inputs to the retinorecipient layers of the SC and that the 'top-down' X-type input from the visual cortex has only a minor impact on the spatio-temporal frequency response profiles of collicular receptive fields.




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W.J. Waleszczyk, Department of Neurophysiology, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, 3 Pasteur St., 02-093 Warsaw, Poland


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