Visual motion processing in the owl visual wulst

receptive fields

The visual wulst is a bird forebrain structure analogous to V1. It is particularly well developed in owls, reaching 25% of brain volume in some species. Beyond a purely comparative neuroscience perspective, the relevance of studying this structure lies in the fact that the wulst and the mammalian visual cortex do not share a common evolutionary origin, being the fruit of convergent evolution instead. Therefore, they shed light on the general principles and constraints underlying visual processing. My work shows that owl visual wulst neurons act like localized spatiotemporal filters (see also this) that do not signal speed or global object motion, much like their mammalian V1 counterparts.