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Brain Behav Evol. 1988;31(1):49-56.

Neural cartography: sensory and motor maps in the superior colliculus.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Alabama, Birmingham.


The sudden onset of a novel or behaviorally significant stimulus usually triggers responses that orient the eyes, external ears, head and/or body toward the source of the stimulus. As a consequence, the reception of additional signals originating from the source and the sensory guidance of appropriate limb and body movements are facilitated. Converging lines of evidence, derived from anatomical, electrophysiological and lesion experiments, indicate that the superior colliculus is an important part of the neural substrate responsible for the generation of orienting responses. This paper briefly reviews the functional organization of the mammalian superior colliculus and discusses possible linkages between the sensory and motor maps observed in this structure. The hypothesis is advanced that the sensory maps are organized in motor (not sensory) coordinates and that the maps of sensory space are dynamic, shifting with relative movements of the eyes, head and body.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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