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LARA, R; CARMONA, M; DAZA, F; CRUZ, A (1984)

A GLOBAL-MODEL OF THE NEURAL MECHANISMS RESPONSIBLE FOR VISUOMOTOR COORDINATION IN TOADS

J. Theor. Biol. 110(4):587-618
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A model of how the nervous system of toads processes visual information to control motor behaviour is proposed. The problem of visuomotor coordination in toads is studied through the integration of two different approaches: a top-down approach through schema theory developed in the studies of cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence and brain theory; and a bottom-up approach through the integration of physiological, anatomical, ethological, and neural modelling. The model proposes that visual information is processed in a parallel distributed way through different brain layers whose interaction defines the proper motor response for that specific situation. It is postulated that visual processing of information is organized into main schemata, which set the goal to be attained and, depending on the specific circumstances of the animal, activates different brain layers; the main schemata may use other schemata to solve a specific subproblem to reach the schemata, and a programme of schema co-ordination. With this model we have simulated how toads plan their route to reach a prey or the route to go away form a predator, depending on the state of their three-dimensional world. The model postulates specific hypotheses that could be tested experimentally on the processing of information in the toad's nervous system.