Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 445–457 | Cite as

Visual orientation in the rat: A dissociation of deficits following cortical and collicular lesions

  • M. A. Goodale
  • N. P. Foreman
  • A. D. Milner


Rats with either bilateral ablations of superior colliculus, bilateral ablations of visual cortex, or sham operations were trained to run across a large arena towards a small illuminated target which varied in location from trial to trial. An impairment in this visually-guided running was apparent in the cortical group, but not in the collicular group. When, in a second experiment, the spatial relationships within the apparatus were changed by extending the entry-tunnel some distance into the arena, the running of the cortical group became even more impaired, while the collicular animals continued to run towards the targets under efficient visual control. In a third experiment, the effect of introducing a novel flashing light in various locations around the perimeter of the arena was investigated. It was found that unlike the other two groups, the collicular animals showed no orienting reflex to the novel stimulus when it was presented outside a broad central area of the visual field.

Key words

Superior colliculus Visual cortex Visually-guided locomotion Orienting reflex 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Goodale
    • 1
  • N. P. Foreman
    • 1
  • A. D. Milner
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychological LaboratoryUniversity of St-AndrewsScotland, UK

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