The representation of the ipsilateral eye in nucleus isthmi of the leopard frog, Rana pipiens

Vis Neurosci. Sep-Oct 2002;19(5):669-79. doi: 10.1017/s0952523802195125.

Abstract

The retina of the leopard frog projects topographically to the superficial neuropil of the entire contralateral tectum. In the rostromedial neuropil of the tectum, there is a map of the binocular region of the visual field seen from the ipsilateral eye that is in register with the map of the binocular region of the visual field seen from the contralateral eye. The ipsilateral eye projects indirectly to the tectum through nucleus isthmi (n. isthmi), a midbrain tegmental structure. N. isthmi receives input from the ipsilateral optic tectum and sends projections bilaterally that cover both tectal lobes. Previous workers have not been able to find visual activity from the ipsilateral eye in the caudolateral optic tectum, representing the monocular visual field of the contralateral eye. We show electrophysiologically that across the entire extent of n. isthmi there are two superimposed maps, one map representing the entire visual field of the contralateral eye, the other map representing the binocular visual field of the ipsilateral eye. We also studied the behavioral consequences of localized lesions to n. isthmi and compared them to the behavioral consequences of localized lesions to the optic tectum representing equivalent areas of the visual field. Lesions to the optic tectum produce scotomas in the corresponding portion of the visual field. Lesions to n. isthmi, even medial n. isthmi representing the superior visual field, lead to scotomas in the temporal-most portion of the contralateral ground level visual field. Thus, the representation of visual space in n. isthmi is not a simple copy of the tectal representation of visual space.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Rana pipiens / physiology*
  • Retina / physiology
  • Superior Colliculi / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • Tectum Mesencephali / physiology*
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology*
  • Visual Fields
  • Visual Pathways / physiology