A Model Of Visually Guided Plasticity Of The Auditory Spatial Map In The Barn Owl (1995)
In the barn owl, the self-organization of the auditory map of space in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICx) is strongly influenced by vision, but the nature of this interaction is unknown. In this paper a biologically plausible and minimalistic model of ICx self-organization is proposed where the ICx receives a learn signal based on the owl's visual attention. When the visual attention is focused in the same spatial location as the auditory input, the learn signal is turned on, and the map is allowed to adapt. A two-dimensional Kohonen map is used to model the ICx, and simulations were performed to evaluate how the learn signal would affect the auditory map. When primary area of visual attention was shifted at different spatial locations, the auditory map shifted to the corresponding location. The shift was complete when done early in the development and partial when done later. Similar results have been observed in the barn owl with its visual field modified with prisms. Therefore, the simulations suggest that a learn signal, based on visual attention, is a possible explanation for the auditory plasticity.
In Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 154-158, 1995. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Andrea Haessly Masters Alumni
Risto Miikkulainen Faculty risto [at] cs utexas edu
Joseph Sirosh Ph.D. Alumni joseph sirosh [at] gmail com