Abstract # 258:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 20, 2015 02:30 PM-03:00 PM: (Cascade F) Oral Presentation


SUBCORTICAL VISUAL SENSITIVITY TO SNAKE STIMULI IN THE PRIMATE BRAIN

R. Souto Maior
University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil
line
     There is ample evidence implicating the colliculo-pulvinar visual pathway in the detection of affective stimuli. This pathway, which is classically associated with visual alertness and attention shifts, extends from the retina to the superior colliculus and the pulvinar nucleus. Recently, we found that both areas are sensitive to snake visual stimuli (Maior et al., 2011; Le et al., 2013). Neurons in the medial pulvinar not only respond faster and stronger to snake images, but their activity is likely to code the level of threat depicted in those images (Le et al., 2014). Also, low spatial filtering did not reduce neuronal firing, which is consistent with colliculo-pulvinar involvement. These results are indicative of the evolutionary importance that visual snake detection may have had in the evolution of primates. The scope of our line of investigation will be presented in the light of converging evidence from neurobiological studies.