Vision guides the adjustment of auditory localization in young barn owls

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Science  01 Nov 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4725, pp. 545-548
DOI: 10.1126/science.4048948


Barn owls raised with one ear plugged make systematic errors in auditory localization when the earplug is removed. Young owls correct their localization errors within a few weeks. However, such animals did not correct their auditory localization errors when deprived of vision. Moreover, when prisms were mounted in front of their eyes, they adjusted their auditory localization to match the visual error induced by the prisms, as long as the visual and auditory errors were within the same quadrant of directions. The results demonstrate that, during development, the visual system provides the spatial reference for fine-tuning auditory localization.