Document Detail

Multisensory enhancement in the optic tectum of the barn owl: spike count and spike timing.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19261710     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Temporal and spatial correlations between auditory and visual stimuli facilitate the perception of unitary events and improve behavioral responses. However, it is not clear how combined visual and auditory information is processed in single neurons. Here we studied responses of multisensory neurons in the barn owl's optic tectum (the avian homologue of the superior colliculus) to visual, auditory, and bimodal stimuli. We specifically focused on responses to sequences of repeated stimuli. We first report that bimodal stimulation tends to elicit more spikes than in the responses to its unimodal components (a phenomenon known as multisensory enhancement). However, this tendency was found to be history-dependent; multisensory enhancement was mostly apparent in the first stimulus of the sequence and to a much lesser extent in the subsequent stimuli. Next, a vector-strength analysis was applied to quantify the phase locking of the responses to the stimuli. We report that in a substantial number of multisensory neurons responses to sequences of bimodal stimuli elicited spike trains that were better phase locked to the stimulus than spike trains elicited by stimulating with the unimodal counterparts (visual or auditory). We conclude that multisensory enhancement can be manifested in better phase locking to the stimulus as well as in more spikes.
Yael Zahar; Amit Reches; Yoram Gutfreund
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-03-04
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neurophysiology     Volume:  101     ISSN:  0022-3077     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurophysiol.     Publication Date:  2009 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-04-21     Completed Date:  2009-06-04     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375404     Medline TA:  J Neurophysiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2380-94     Citation Subset:  IM    
Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics, The Bruce Rappaport Medical School, The Technion, Haifa 31096, Israel.
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MeSH Terms
Acoustic Stimulation / methods
Action Potentials / physiology*
Auditory Perception
Models, Biological
Photic Stimulation / methods
Reaction Time
Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*
Strigiformes / anatomy & histology*,  physiology
Superior Colliculi / cytology*,  physiology*
Time Factors
Visual Perception

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