A candidate pathway for a visual instructional signal to the barn owl's auditory system.

H. Luksch, B. Gauger, H. Wagner

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29 Scopus citations


Many organisms use multimodal maps to generate coherent neuronal representations that allow adequate responses to stimuli that excite several sensory modalities. During ontogeny of these maps, one modality typically acts as the dominant system the other modalities are aligned to. A well studied model for the alignment of sensory maps is the calibration of the auditory space map by the visual system in the optic tectum of the barn owl. However, a projection from the optic tectum to the site of plasticity in the auditory pathway that could deliver an instructive signal has not been found so far. We have analyzed the development of the connectivity between the bimodal (visual and auditory) map of space in the barn owl's optic tectum and the auditory space map in the inferior colliculus with tracing methods and intracellular fills. Neurons in the tectal stratum griseum centrale were found to be suited to deliver an alignment signal from the visual midbrain to the auditory pathway. These neurons are presumably part of the efferent tectal projection pathway that mediates head saccades. The implications of a sensory alignment signal possibly being delivered by a (pre)motor command pathway are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)RC70
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes


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