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Vision Res. 1990;30(11):1677-88.

The processing of object and self-motion in the tectofugal and accessory optic pathways of birds.

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Department of Physiology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


This paper reviews electrophysiological studies of motion processing in the tectofugal and accessory optic systems (AOS), and suggests these are specialized respectively for the analysis of object motion and self motion. Evidence is presented which shows that directionally specific neurons in the tectofugal system process local motion and are inhibited by wholefield motion. These cells respond to kinematograms and moving occlusion edges and may therefore also be involved in figure-ground segregation and depth perception. In contrast, cells in the nucleus of the basal optic root (nBOR), a component of the AOS, respond best to large slowly moving patterns. These cells are directionally selective preferring either upward, downward or backward directions. In the posterior region of the nBOR some cells have been found which are binocular and prefer either the same or opposite directions of motion in the two eyes. Thus, these cells are tuned to respond optimally to either translational or rotational components of wholefield motion and it is suggested these may be involved in the control of posture and locomotion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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