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Integration of visual and whisker signals in rat superior colliculus

Gharaei, S; Arabzadeh, E; Solomon, SG; (2018) Integration of visual and whisker signals in rat superior colliculus. Scientific Reports , 8 , Article 16445. 10.1038/s41598-018-34661-8. Green open access

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Abstract

Multisensory integration is a process by which signals from different sensory modalities are combined to facilitate detection and localization of external events. One substrate for multisensory integration is the midbrain superior colliculus (SC) which plays an important role in orienting behavior. In rodent SC, visual and somatosensory (whisker) representations are in approximate registration, but whether and how these signals interact is unclear. We measured spiking activity in SC of anesthetized hooded rats, during presentation of visual- and whisker stimuli that were tested simultaneously or in isolation. Visual responses were found in all layers, but were primarily located in superficial layers. Whisker responsive sites were primarily found in intermediate layers. In single- and multi-unit recording sites, spiking activity was usually only sensitive to one modality, when stimuli were presented in isolation. By contrast, we observed robust and primarily suppressive interactions when stimuli were presented simultaneously to both modalities. We conclude that while visual and whisker representations in SC of rat are partially overlapping, there is limited excitatory convergence onto individual sites. Multimodal integration may instead rely on suppressive interactions between modalities.

Type: Article
Title: Integration of visual and whisker signals in rat superior colliculus
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-34661-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-34661-8
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Sensory processing, Visual system, Whisker system
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061766
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