Distribution of visual and saccade related information in the monkey inferior colliculus.

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2012-01

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Abstract

The inferior colliculus (IC) is an essential stop early in the ascending auditory pathway. Though normally thought of as a predominantly auditory structure, recent work has uncovered a variety of non-auditory influences on firing rate in the IC. Here, we map the location within the IC of neurons that respond to the onset of a fixation-guiding visual stimulus. Visual/visuomotor associated activity was found throughout the IC (overall, 84 of 199 sites tested or 42%), but with a far reduced prevalence and strength along recording penetrations passing through the tonotopically organized region of the IC, putatively the central nucleus (11 of 42 sites tested, or 26%). These results suggest that visual information has only a weak effect on early auditory processing in core regions, but more strongly targets the modulatory shell regions of the IC.

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10.3389/fncir.2012.00061

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Bulkin, David A, and Jennifer M Groh (2012). Distribution of visual and saccade related information in the monkey inferior colliculus. Frontiers in neural circuits, 6(SEPTEMBER). p. 61. 10.3389/fncir.2012.00061 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17892.

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Groh

Jennifer M. Groh

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Research in my laboratory concerns how sensory and motor systems work together, and how neural representations play a combined role in sensorimotor and cognitive processing (embodied cognition).

Most of our work concerns the interactions between vision and hearing. We frequently perceive visual and auditory stimuli as being bound together if they seem likely to have arisen from a common source. That's why we tend not to notice that the speakers on TV sets or in movie theatres are located beside, and not behind, the screen. Research in my laboratory is devoted to investigating the question of how the brain coordinates the information arising from the ears and eyes. Our findings challenge the historical view of the brain's sensory processing as being automatic, autonomous, and immune from outside influence. We have recently established that neurons in the auditory pathway (inferior colliculus, auditory cortex) alter their responses to sound depending on where the eyes are pointing. This finding suggests that the different sensory pathways meddle in one another's supposedly private affairs, making their respective influences felt even at very early stages of processing. The process of bringing the signals from two different sensory pathways into a common frame of reference begins at a surprisingly early point along the primary sensory pathways.


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