Binocular visual processing in the owl's telencephalon

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing Papers of a Biological Character
J D Pettigrew


Single neurons recorded from the owl's visual Wulst are surprisingly similar to those found in mammalian striate cortex. The receptive fields of Wulst neurons are elaborated, in an apparently hierarchical fashion, from those of their monocular, concentrically organized inputs to produce binocular interneurons with increasingly sophisticated requirements for stimulus orientation, movement and binocular disparity. Output neurons located in the superficial laminae of the Wulst are the most sophisticated of all, with absolute requirements for a combination of stimuli, which include binocular presentation at a particular horizontal binocular disparity, and with no response unless all of the stimulus conditions are satisfied simultaneously. Such neurons have the properties required for 'global stereopsis', including a receptive field size many times larger than their optimal stimulus, which is more closely matched to the receptive fields of the simpler, disparity-selective interneurons. These marked similarities in functional organization between the avian and mammalian systems exist in spite of a number of structural differences which reflect their separate evoluntionary origins. Discussion therefore includes the possibility that th...Continue Reading


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