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Binocular interaction in the superior colliculus of chronic cats

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Effects of monocular and binocular stimulations upon cells of the superficial layer (superficial grey and optic strata) of the superior colliculus (SC) were studied in chronic cats with painless head fixation. They responded vigorously to moving stimuli (a 2° wide black stripe or a light slit of the same width, both moving at 40–100°/sec). Most cells were directionally selective and binocularly driven usually with a contralateral ocular dominance.

In a sample of 71 cells the five types of binocular interaction were found. In 36 units (50.7%) the response to binocular stimulation was larger than the sum of the responses to monocular stimulation of both eyes (facilitation) and in 12 units (16.7%) the reverse was true (occlusion). In 7 units (9.9%) the binocular response was equal to the sum of the two monocular responses (summation). In 11 units (15.5%) the binocular response was smaller than the response to dominant eye stimulation (inhibition). In 5 units (7.0%) whose background discharges were suppressed by monocular stimulation of one eye or both suppression became less marked for binocular stimulation (disinhibition). The most common type of binocular interaction was facilitation in the units with a clear ocular dominance and it was summation or occlusion in the units lacking ocular dominance. Facilitatory and inhibitory binocular interactions were more frequently seen in the directionally selective units than in the directionally non-selective ones

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Hayashi, Y., Nagata, T., Tamaki, Y. et al. Binocular interaction in the superior colliculus of chronic cats. Exp Brain Res 18, 531–547 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00234136

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Key words

  • Visual neurones
  • Superior colliculus
  • Binocular interaction
  • Chronic cats