This report represents a more or less subjective summary of the panel discussion of this topic, since at present only some considerations can be based on facts described in the literature, including various articles in this volume. Several key issues are still unresolved and remain subject to theoretical considerations. The problem of sensorimotor interfacing, where it reaches beyond the level of simple reflexes, is intimately related to (1) the organization of central sensory structures in terms of representational maps for complex stimuli, and (2) to the organization of motor systems in terms of self-coordinating networks which organize sequences of muscle actions. Thus, in a general sense, sensorimotor interfacing covers functional and structural mechanisms of the brain which mediate between sensory and motor maps. In theory interfacing can be viewed as a separate stage of processing in between the sensory and the motor side, or at the other extreme by the type of organization of sensory and motor networks which would allow interfacing by direct connecting lines. I shall try to illustrate below which of these alternatives are conceivable in vertebrate systems. Since most of the knowledge on neuronal correlates of species-specific behaviors to date is limited to the sensory processing of species-relevant stimuli, since much less is known about the motor-organization of species-specific behaviors and almost nothing is known about interfacing it is apparent that the state of the art in neuroethology of vertebrates is hardly beyond the stage of a comparative neurobiology of sensory systems.
KeywordsStimulus Dimension Stimulus Pattern Complex Stimulus Motor Network Lower Vertebrate
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.