Distribution of visual and saccade related information in the monkey inferior colliculus.
The inferior colliculus (IC) is an essential stop early in the ascending auditory pathway. Though normally thought of as a predominantly auditory structure, recent work has uncovered a variety of non-auditory influences on firing rate in the IC. Here, we map the location within the IC of neurons that respond to the onset of a fixation-guiding visual stimulus. Visual/visuomotor associated activity was found throughout the IC (overall, 84 of 199 sites tested or 42%), but with a far reduced prevalence and strength along recording penetrations passing through the tonotopically organized region of the IC, putatively the central nucleus (11 of 42 sites tested, or 26%). These results suggest that visual information has only a weak effect on early auditory processing in core regions, but more strongly targets the modulatory shell regions of the IC.
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