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  Translational head movements of pigeons in response to a rotating pattern: characteristics and tool to analyse mechanisms underlying detection of rotational and translational optical flow

Nalbach, H.-O. (1992). Translational head movements of pigeons in response to a rotating pattern: characteristics and tool to analyse mechanisms underlying detection of rotational and translational optical flow. Experimental Brain Research, 92(1), 27-38. doi:10.1007/BF00230380.

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Nalbach, H-O1, 2, Author           
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1Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              
2Former Department Comparative Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497800              

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 Abstract: Pigeons freely standing in the centre of a two-dimensionally textured cylinder not only rotate but also laterally translate their head in response to the pattern sinusoidally oscillating or unidirectionally rotating around their vertical axis. The translational head movement dominates the response at high oscillation frequencies, whereas in a unidirectionally rotating drum head translation declines at about the same rate as the rotational response increases. It is suggested that this is a consequence of charging the ‘velocity storage’ in the vestibulo-ocular system. Similar to the rotational head movement (opto-collic reflex), the translational head movement is elicited via a wide-field motion sensitive system. The underlying mechanism can be described as vector integration of movement vectors tangential to the pattern rotation. Stimulation of the frontal visual field elicits largest translational responses while rotational responses can be elicited equally well from any azimuthal position of a moving pattern. Experiments where most of the pattern is occluded by a screen and the pigeon is allowed to view the stimulus through one or two windows demonstrate a short-range inhibition and longrange excitation between movement detectors that feed into the rotational system. Furthermore, the results obtained from such types of experiments suggest that the rotational system inhibits the translational system. These mechanisms may help the pigeon to decompose image flow into its translational and rotational components. Because of their translational response to a rotational stimulus, it is concluded, however, that pigeons either generally cannot perfectly perform the task or they need further visual information, like differential image motion, that was not available to them in the paradigms.

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 Dates: 1992-12
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1007/BF00230380
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Title: Experimental Brain Research
  Other : Exp. Brain Res.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Heidelberg : Springer-Verlag
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 92 (1) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 27 - 38 Identifier: ISSN: 0014-4819
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925398496