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Although the optic tectum in non-mammals and its mammalian homolog, the superior colliculus, are involved in avoidance behaviors, whether and how tectal neurons respond to an object approaching on a collision course towards the animal remain unclear. Here we show by single unit recording that there exist three classes of looming-sensitive neurons in the(More)
The tectofugal pathway in birds goes from the optic tectum to the telencephalic entopallium via the thalamic nucleus rotundus (nRt). This pathway may be homologous to the colliculo-pulvinar-cortical pathway in mammals. It is known that a population of rotundal neurons in the pigeon can signal impending collision of looming objects with the animal. Here we(More)
Seeing target motion is a vital capability of the visual system in humans and animals. Physically, motion is described by its acceleration, speed, and direction. Motion-sensitive neurons in all the visual areas examined to date are selective for the direction and speed of motion. Here, we show by single-unit recording that one-third of motion-sensitive(More)
How the receptive field (RF) of visual cells is formed and how to explain the orientation selectivity have been intensely studied and debated. Here we provided direct electrophysiological evidence by single-unit recording and electrophysiological mapping that the elongated excitatory RF of a visual cell in the pigeon nucleus isthmi is constructed from(More)
The nucleus isthmi in the dorsolateral tegmentum had been one of the most obscure structures in the nonmammalian midbrain for eight decades. Recent studies have shown that this nucleus and its mammalian homologue, the parabigeminal nucleus, are all visual centers, which receive information from the ipsilateral tectum and project back either ipsilaterally or(More)
Misinterpretations of visual information received by the retina are called visual illusions, which are known to occur in higher brain areas. However, whether they would be also processed in lower brain structures remains unknown, and how to explain the neuronal mechanisms underlying the motion after-effect is intensely debated. We show by extracellular(More)
The avian ectostriatum is the telencephalic recipient zone of the tectofugal pathway, which may be homologous to the colliculo-pulvinar-cortical pathway in mammals. The present paper studies the visual response properties and receptive field organization of ectostriatal cells in pigeons with extracellular recording and computer mapping techniques. The(More)
The pretectal nucleus lentiformis mesencephali in pigeons is involved in optokinetic nystagmus and consists of lateral (nLMl) and medial (nLMm) subnuclei. The present study using intracellular recordings and brain slices shows that pretectal cells respond to depolarizing current injection in different ways. Type I cells (32%) fire spontaneously and have(More)
The thalamofugal and tectofugal pathways in birds are two parallel visual pathways to the telencephalon and might be comparable to the geniculocortical and colliculo-pulvinar-cortical pathways in mammals, respectively. It is known that some tectal neurons in the tectofugal pathway can signal the time-to-collision of an approaching object. Here we show by(More)
The present study provides the first electrophysiological evidence that the nucleus semilunaris is a visual center in the pigeon midbrain. The receptive field of E-type cells is either an excitatory field alone or an excitatory center with an inhibitory periphery, which in most cases is surrounded by a disinhibitory region. Cells of I-type possess only an(More)