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J Comp Neurol. 1991 Dec 22;314(4):671-83.

Pattern of retinotectal projection in the megachiropteran bat Rousettus aegyptiacus.

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Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Fakultät für Biologie, Allg. Zoologie und Neurobiologie, Bochum, Federal Republic of Germany.


The retinotopic organisation of the superior colliculus (SC) in the megachiropteran bat Rousettus aegyptiacus was examined with single and multi-unit recordings and by tracing the retrograde and anterograde transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) between the retina and the SC. The pattern of projection of the visual field onto the SC in Rousettus resembles the pattern found in most mammals. The whole of the contralateral visual field is represented and, in addition, a region of the ipsilateral visual field extending 25 degrees beyond the vertical 0 degree meridian. The ipsilateral visual field is represented binocularly in the most anterior 300-500 microns of the rostral pole of the SC. The contralateral visual field up to 25 degrees from the vertical meridian is represented through both eyes for the next 500-800 microns. The peripheral part of the contralateral visual field, 25 degrees-110 degrees from the vertical meridian is seen only by the nasal retina (the monocular crescent) of the contralateral eye and is represented in the caudal part of the SC. Following multiple injections of HRP into one SC, ganglion cells were labeled in both the nasal and temporal hemiretina of the contralateral eye. In the retina ipsilateral to the injection site, labeled cells were restricted to the temporal hemiretina. After injections of HRP into one eye, labeled terminals were found all over the contralateral SC, but in the ipsilateral SC they were restricted to a band that begins 300-500 microns caudal from the rostral pole and extends to the middle of the SC. These results suggest that in Rousettus, unlike the megachiropteran bats described by Pettigrew, Jamieson, Robson, Hall, McAnally, and Cooper (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B 325:489-559, 1989), the retinotopic organisation of the SC is not primate-like, but follows the general mammalian scheme. As the retinotopic organisation of the SC is not consistent among the megachiropteran bats, the pattern of this projection may not be a useful indicator of their phylogenetic origins.

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