Journal of Neuroscience, ( ISI ), Volume (31), No (14), Year (2011-4) , Pages (5186-5196)

Title : ( Signaling of the Strongest Stimulus in the Owl Optic Tectum )

Authors: Shreesh Mysore , Ali Asadollahi , Eric Knudsen ,

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Essential to the selection of the next target for gaze or attention is the ability to compare the strengths of multiple competing stimuli (bottom-up information) and to signal the strongest one. Although the optic tectum (OT) has been causally implicated in stimulus selection, how it computes the strongest stimulus is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that OT neurons in the barn owl systematically encode the relative strengths of simultaneously occurring stimuli independently of sensory modality. Moreover, special switch-like responses of a subset of neurons abruptly increase when the stimulus inside their receptive field becomes the strongest one. Such responses are not predicted by responses to single stimuli and, indeed, are eliminated in the absence of competitive interactions. We demonstrate that this sensory transformation substantially boosts the representation of the strongest stimulus by creating a binary discrimination signal, thereby setting the stage for potential winner-take-all target selection for gaze and attention.


, Vision, Attention, competition, midbrain
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author = {Shreesh Mysore and Asadollahi, Ali and Eric Knudsen},
title = {Signaling of the Strongest Stimulus in the Owl Optic Tectum},
journal = {Journal of Neuroscience},
year = {2011},
volume = {31},
number = {14},
month = {April},
issn = {0270-6474},
pages = {5186--5196},
numpages = {10},
keywords = {Vision; Attention; competition; midbrain},


%0 Journal Article
%T Signaling of the Strongest Stimulus in the Owl Optic Tectum
%A Shreesh Mysore
%A Asadollahi, Ali
%A Eric Knudsen
%J Journal of Neuroscience
%@ 0270-6474
%D 2011