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Fitting barn owls with prisms which induce a shift in where the owls see objects in their environment leads to a shift of the map of auditory space in the optic tectum.

The shift in the auditory space map in the optic tectum of owls whose visual perception was shifted by prisms is much stronger in juvenile than in mature owls.

Letting adult owls with shifted visual spatial perception hunt mice increases the amount by which the auditory space map in the owls' optic tectum is shifted (as compared to feeding them only dead mice).

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).