Visually evoked potentials
Ipsilateral stimulus responses
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The tectofugal pathway in birds has been reported to process primarily information from the contralateral eye. Although this pathway has access to the contralateral hemisphere by various connections, electrophysiological recordings up to now have failed to demonstrate any excitatory influence of visual stimulation in the higher stations of this pathway. This study is the first to demonstrate an excitatory projection from the ipsilateral eye to the telencephalic projection area of the tectofugal pathway by recordings of visually evoked potentials in the ectostriatum. The excitatory projection probably leads from the eye to the contralateral tectum opticum, then recrosses back to the nucleus rotundus of the ipsilateral side where it reaches the ectostriatum. In normal birds, the ipsilateral stimulus responses in the ectostriatum are smaller in amplitude and have a longer latency than responses to contralateral stimuli. In unilaterally enucleated birds, the ipsilateral response is enhanced in the ectostriatum and can be detected in the nucleus rotundus, too. The results suggest that in normal birds the ipsilateral response is inhibited to a high degree by spontaneous activity of the contralateral eye. Possibly, this counterbalanced inhibition provides a mechanism for weighting information from the left and right eye field in order to ensure adequate processing of stimuli.
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