Object Localization and Vibrissal Behavior in 3D
Most mammalian sensory systems process information collected through actively generated movements. The rodent vibrissal system is one such system, whereby specialized facial musculature enables fine control of whisker movement. Sensory events that occur upon whisker-object contact are encoded in the activity of primary afferents in the trigeminal system. These afferents exhibit selectivity for direction, velocity, acceleration and temporal frequency. Not much is known about how whisker behavior generates contact-parameters appropriate for reliable detection by sensory afferents. Studies in actively sensing rats demonstrate that neuronal activity is significantly influenced by motor activation. Here, we summarize results from two studies aimed at understanding how whisking behavior is involved in various aspects of sensory processing, such as spatial localization
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