Unit Responses from Commissural Fibers of Optic Lobes of Fish

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Science  06 May 1966:
Vol. 152, Issue 3723, pp. 797-799
DOI: 10.1126/science.152.3723.797


The paired optic lobes of teleost fish are connected by two commissures. One of these, the tectal commissure, was studied with metal microelectrodes. Fibers are rhythmically active for prolonged periods in the dark and respond to light by a decrease in the rate of discharge. There is a rebound acceleration when the light is turned of. Each fiber is influenced by light in one eye only, and there is no response when light is projected into the opposite eye. This behavior resembles the "off" response recorded from the optic lobes and the optic nerve of fish. Unlike most units from the visual pathways of lower animals, single commissural fibers do not seem to give any recognizable response to patterned input such as small light or dark objects or small light sources stationary or moving anywhere in the visual field, nor do they respond to a vertical black bar moved over a white background.