Binocular neurons in the nucleus of the basal optic root (nBOR) of the pigeon are selective for either translational or rotational visual flow

Vis Neurosci. 1990 Nov;5(5):489-95. doi: 10.1017/s0952523800000614.


Previous electrophysiological studies have shown that neurons in the nucleus of the basal optic root (nBOR) of the pigeon respond best to wholefield stimuli moving slowly in a particular direction in the contralateral visual field. In this study, we have found that some nBOR neurons respond to wholefield stimulation of both eyes. These binocular neurons have spatially separate receptive fields in both visual fields. Some binocular neurons prefer the same direction of wholefield motion in both eyes, and thus respond best to wholefield visual motion which would result from translation movements of the bird, either ascent, descent, or forward and backward motion. Other neurons prefer opposite directions of wholefield motion in each eye and therefore respond optimally to wholefield visual motion simulating rotational movements of the bird, either roll or yaw. These binocular neurons may play a crucial part in the locomotor behavior of the pigeon by providing visual information distinguishing translational and rotational movements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Columbidae / physiology*
  • Movement*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rotation
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / cytology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*