Visuomotor Coordination

Amphibians, Comparisons, Models, and Robots

  • Jörg-Peter Ewert
  • Michael A. Arbib

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxi
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. M. A. Arbib, U. Bässler, J.-P. Ewert, T. Finkenstädt, F. Gonzalez-Lima, P. Grobstein et al.
      Pages 3-36
  3. An Opening Perspective

  4. Cellular Mechanisms in Tectum and Pretectum

  5. The Role of Visual Centers

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 309-309
    2. Edward R. Gruberg
      Pages 341-356
    3. Hanspeter A. Mallot, Werner Von Seelen
      Pages 357-382
    4. Herbert J. Reitboeck
      Pages 383-396
  6. The Visuomotor Interface

  7. Motor Control

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 587-587
    2. M. B. Berkinblit, A. G. Feldman, O. I. Fukson
      Pages 615-629
    3. Ulrich Bässler
      Pages 631-648
    4. Carme Torras
      Pages 673-689
  8. Arousal, Habituation, Conditioning

  9. Back Matter
    Pages 897-923

About this book


Various brain areas of mammals can phyletically be traced back to homologous structures in amphibians. The amphibian brain may thus be regarded as a kind of "microcosm" of the highly complex primate brain, as far as certain homologous structures, sensory functions, and assigned ballistic (pre-planned and pre-pro­ grammed) motor and behavioral processes are concerned. A variety of fundamental operations that underlie perception, cognition, sensorimotor transformation and its modulation appear to proceed in primate's brain in a way understandable in terms of basic principles which can be investigated more easily by experiments in amphibians. We have learned that progress in the quantitative description and evaluation of these principles can be obtained with guidance from theory. Modeling - supported by simulation - is a process of transforming abstract theory derived from data into testable structures. Where empirical data are lacking or are difficult to obtain because of structural constraints, the modeler makes assumptions and approximations that, by themselves, are a source of hypotheses. If a neural model is then tied to empirical data, it can be used to predict results and hence again to become subject to experimental tests whose resulting data in tum will lead to further improvements of the model. By means of our present models of visuomotor coordination and its modulation by state-dependent inputs, we are just beginning to simulate and analyze how external information is represented within different brain structures and how these structures use these operations to control adaptive behavior.


behavior metabolism perception predator visual information processing

Editors and affiliations

  • Jörg-Peter Ewert
    • 1
  • Michael A. Arbib
    • 2
  1. 1.University of KasselKasselFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Bibliographic information