Show Reference: "Auditory and Visual Maps of Space in the Optic Tectum of the Owl"

Auditory and visual maps of space in the optic tectum of the owl The Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 2, No. 9. (01 September 1982), pp. 1177-1194 by Eric I. Knudsen
    abstract = {The receptive field properties and functional organization of visual and auditory responses were studied in the optic tectum of the barn owl (Tyto alba). Most units throughout the depth of the tectum responded to both visual and auditory stimuli. The entire visual field of each eye was represented topographically in the contralateral tectum. In the portion of the tectal map representing the zone of binocular vision, 50\% of the superficial layer units and 100\% of the deep; layer units were driven binocularly. The representation of the frontal binocular region of space was greatly expanded in the map; the average magnification factor was 3 times greater for the frontal binocular zone than for the monocular zone. The responses of the superficial and deep tectal units to auditory stimuli were space specific; they responded only when a sound source was located in a particular region of space, or receptive field, regardless of the intensity or type of sound used. Most auditory receptive fields contained a distinct  ” best area” where a sound source was most effective in driving the unit. Auditory space, as defined by receptive fields and best areas, was represented topographically in the tectum. The auditory and visual maps of space had the same orientations, positions, magnification factors, and termination coordinates at the anterior and dorsal edges of the tectum. Yet the maps lost their registry near the posterior and ventral margins where the most peripheral regions of space were represented. These characteristics suggest that the spatiotopic organization in the tectum is a compromise between a tendency for the space representations of different modalities to align and for the representation of each modality to fill the entire tectum.},
    author = {Knudsen, Eric I.},
    citeulike-article-id = {13116485},
    citeulike-linkout-0 = {},
    citeulike-linkout-1 = {},
    citeulike-linkout-2 = {},
    citeulike-linkout-3 = {},
    day = {01},
    issn = {1529-2401},
    journal = {The Journal of Neuroscience},
    keywords = {auditory, biology, ic, sc, visual},
    month = sep,
    number = {9},
    pages = {1177--1194},
    pmid = {7119872},
    posted-at = {2014-03-24 17:39:06},
    priority = {2},
    publisher = {Society for Neuroscience},
    title = {Auditory and Visual Maps of Space in the Optic Tectum of the Owl},
    url = {},
    volume = {2},
    year = {1982}

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Receptive fields of SC neurons in different modalities tend to overlap.

There is a map of auditory space in the deep superior colliculus.

The way many sensory organs work naturally provides a homomorphic mapping from the location of a stimulus into the population of peripheral sensory neurons:

The location of a visual stimulus determines which part of the retina is stimulated.

The identity of a peripheral somesthetic neuron immediately identifies the location of sensory stimulation on the body surface.

The identity of peripheral auditory neurons responding to an auditory stimulus is not dependent on the location of that stimulus.

Instead, localization cues must be extracted from the temporal dynamics and spectral properties of binaural auditory signals.

This is in contrast with visual and somesthetic localization.

The visual and auditory maps in the deep SC are in spatial register.

Auditory receptive fields tend to be greater and contain visual receptive fields in the deep SC of the owl.

The superficial SC of the owl is strongly audio-visual.