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Bergan et al. offer four factors which might explain the increase in shift of the auditory space maps in owls with shifted visual spatial perception:

  • Hunting represents a task in which accurate map alignment is important (owls which do not hunt presumably do not face such tasks),
  • more cross-modal experience (visual and auditory stimuli from the mice),
  • cross-modal experiences in phases of increased attention and arousal,
  • increased importance of accurate map alignment (important for feeding).

If increased importance of accurate map alignment is what causes stronger map alignment in the optic tectum of owls that hunt than in those of owls that do not hunt (with visually displacing prisms), then that could point either

  • to value-based learning in the OT
  • or to a role of cognitive input to the OT (hunting owls pay more attention/are more interested in audio-visual stimuli than resting or feeding owls).