Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 187, Issue 11, pp 913–924

Neurons with complex receptive fields in the stratum griseum centrale of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis Gould) optic tectum

  •  A. Schmidt
  •  H.-J. Bischof
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00359-001-0264-8

Cite this article as:
Schmidt, A. & Bischof, HJ. J Comp Physiol A (2001) 187: 913. doi:10.1007/s00359-001-0264-8


The electrophysiological and morphological features of visually driven neurons of the stratum griseum centrale of the zebra finch optic tectum were studied by extracellular recording and staining techniques. Stratum griseum centrale neuron responses are sustained in most cases. Receptive fields are big, up to 150° of the visual field. The excitatory center (hot spot) varies in size from 1° to 15°. It can be mapped by small static stimuli, adapts slower than the surround, and has a shape comparable to the excitatory fields of upper-layer neurons. In contrast, the big surround shows responses only to small moving objects which elicit a typical pattern of alternating bursts and silent periods. Alternatively, the same stimuli elicit long-lasting bursts followed by strong adaption. Anatomically, stratum griseum centrale neurons are characterized by far reaching dendrites which terminate with "bottlebrush"-like endings in the upper retinorecipient layers. In addition, they are connected with retinorecipient structures by an interneuron located between layers 10 and 11. The role of the structure of inputs for the organization of the receptive fields is discussed.

Bird Visual system Hot spots Movement-sensitive surrounds Electrophysiology Biocytin 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  •  A. Schmidt
    • 1
  •  H.-J. Bischof
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität Bielefeld, Lehrstuhl Verhaltensforschung, Postfach 10 01 31, 33501 Bielefeld, Germany

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