(33/2544) Characteristics of simian adaptation fields produced by behavioral changes in saccade size and direction.

The gain of saccadic eye movements can be altered gradually by moving targets either forward or backward during targeting saccades. If the gain of saccades to targets of only one size is adapted, the gain change generalizes or transfers only to saccades with similar vectors. In this study, we examined the spatial extent of such saccadic size adaptation, i.e., the gain adaptation field. We also attempted to adapt saccade direction by moving the target orthogonally during the targeting saccade to document the extent of a direction or cross-axis adaptation field. After adaptive gain decreases of horizontal saccades to 15 degrees target steps, >82% of the gain reduction transferred to saccades to 25 degrees horizontal target steps but only approximately 30% transferred to saccades to 5 degrees steps. For the horizontal component of oblique saccades to target steps with 15 degrees horizontal components and 10 degrees upward or downward vertical components, the transfer was similar at 51 and 60%, respectively. Thus the gain decrease adaptation field was quite asymmetric in the horizontal dimension but symmetric in the vertical dimension. Although gain increase adaptation produced a smaller gain change (13% increase for a 30% forward adapting target step) than did gain decrease adaptation (20% decrease for a 30% backward adapting target step), the spatial extent of gain transfer was quite similar. In particular, the gain increase adaptation field displayed asymmetry in the horizontal dimension (58% transfer to 25 degrees saccades but only 32% transfer to 5 degrees saccades) and symmetry in the vertical direction (50% transfer to the horizontal component of 10 degrees upward and 40% transfer to 10 degrees downward oblique saccades). When a 5 degrees vertical target movement was made to occur during a saccade to a horizontal 10 degrees target step, a vertical component gradually appeared in saccades to horizontal targets. More than 88% of the cross-axis change in the vertical component produced in 10 degrees saccades transferred to 20 degrees saccades but only 12% transferred to 4 degrees saccades. The transfer was similar to the vertical component of oblique saccades to target steps with either 10 degrees upward (46%) or 10 degrees downward (46%) vertical components. Therefore both gain and cross-axis adaptation fields have similar spatial profiles. These profiles resemble those of movement fields of neurons in the frontal eye fields and superior colliculus. How those structures might participate in the adaptation process is considered in the DISCUSSION.  (+info)

(34/2544) Enhancement of the vestibulo-ocular reflex by prior eye movements.

We investigated the effect of visually mediated eye movements made before velocity-step horizontal head rotations in eleven normal human subjects. When subjects viewed a stationary target before and during head rotation, gaze velocity was initially perturbed by approximately 20% of head velocity; gaze velocity subsequently declined to zero within approximately 300 ms of the stimulus onset. We used a curve-fitting procedure to estimate the dynamic course of the gain throughout the compensatory response to head rotation. This analysis indicated that the median initial gain of compensatory eye movements (mainly because of the vestibulo-ocular reflex, VOR) was 0. 8 and subsequently increased to 1.0 after a median interval of 320 ms. When subjects attempted to fixate the remembered location of the target in darkness, the initial perturbation of gaze was similar to during fixation of a visible target (median initial VOR gain 0.8); however, the period during which the gain increased toward 1.0 was >10 times longer than that during visual fixation. When subjects performed horizontal smooth-pursuit eye movements that ended (i.e., 0 gaze velocity) just before the head rotation, the gaze velocity perturbation at the onset of head rotation was absent or small. The initial gain of the VOR had been significantly increased by the prior pursuit movements for all subjects (P < 0.05; mean increase of 11%). In four subjects, we determined that horizontal saccades and smooth tracking of a head-fixed target (VOR cancellation with eye stationary in the orbit) also increased the initial VOR gain (by a mean of 13%) during subsequent head rotations. However, after vertical saccades or smooth pursuit, the initial gaze perturbation caused by a horizontal head rotation was similar to that which occurred after fixation of a stationary target. We conclude that the initial gain of the VOR during a sudden horizontal head rotation is increased by prior horizontal, but not vertical, visually mediated gaze shifts. We postulate that this "priming" effect of a prior gaze shift on the gain of the VOR occurs at the level of the velocity inputs to the neural integrator subserving horizontal eye movements, where gaze-shifting commands and vestibular signals converge.  (+info)

(35/2544) Contribution of the cerebellar flocculus to gaze control during active head movements.

The flocculus and ventral paraflocculus are adjacent regions of the cerebellar cortex that are essential for controlling smooth pursuit eye movements and for altering the performance of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). The question addressed in this study is whether these regions of the cerebellum are more globally involved in controlling gaze, regardless of whether eye or active head movements are used to pursue moving visual targets. Single-unit recordings were obtained from Purkinje (Pk) cells in the floccular region of squirrel monkeys that were trained to fixate and pursue small visual targets. Cell firing rate was recorded during smooth pursuit eye movements, cancellation of the VOR, combined eye-head pursuit, and spontaneous gaze shifts in the absence of targets. Pk cells were found to be much less sensitive to gaze velocity during combined eye-head pursuit than during ocular pursuit. They were not sensitive to gaze or head velocity during gaze saccades. Temporary inactivation of the floccular region by muscimol injection compromised ocular pursuit but had little effect on the ability of monkeys to pursue visual targets with head movements or to cancel the VOR during active head movements. Thus the signals produced by Pk cells in the floccular region are necessary for controlling smooth pursuit eye movements but not for coordinating gaze during active head movements. The results imply that individual functional modules in the cerebellar cortex are less involved in the global organization and coordination of movements than with parametric control of movements produced by a specific part of the body.  (+info)

(36/2544) Rhythmic neuronal activity in the lateral cerebellum of the cat during visually guided stepping.

1. The discharge patterns of 117 lateral cerebellar neurones were studied in cats during visually guided stepping on a horizontal circular ladder. Ninety per cent of both nuclear cells (53/59) and Purkinje cells (53/58) showed step-related rhythmic modulations of their discharge frequency (one or more periods of 'raised activity' per step cycle of the ipsilateral forelimb). 2. For 31% of nuclear cells (18/59) and 34% of Purkinje cells (20/58) the difference between the highest and lowest discharge rates in different parts of the step cycle was > 50 impulses s-1. 3. Individual neurones differed widely in the phasing of their discharges relative to the step cycle. Nevertheless, for both Purkinje cells and nuclear cells population activity was significantly greater in swing than in stance; the difference was more marked for the nuclear population. 4. Some cells exhibited both step-related rhythmicity and visual responsiveness (28 of 67 tested, 42%), whilst others were rhythmically active during locomotion and increased their discharge rate ahead of saccadic eye movements (11 of 54 tested, 20%). The rhythmicity of cells that were visually responsive was typical of the rhythmicity seen in the whole locomotor-related population. The step-related rhythmicity of cells that also discharged in relation to saccades was generally below average strength compared with the cortical and nuclear populations as a whole. 5. The possibility is discussed that the rhythmicity of dentate neurones acts as a powerful source of excitatory locomotor drive to motor cortex, and may thereby contribute to establishing the step-related rhythmicity of motor cortical (including pyramidal tract) neurones. More generally, the activity patterns of lateral cerebellar neurones provide for a role in the production of visually guided, co-ordinated eye and body movements.  (+info)

(37/2544) Conjugate ocular oscillations during shifts of the direction and depth of visual fixation.

PURPOSE: To characterize dynamic properties of combined saccade-vergence eye movements that occur as the point of visual fixation is shifted between objects lying in different directions and at different depths. METHODS: Using the scleral search-coil technique, eye movements were measured in 10 normal subjects as they made voluntary, disjunctive gaze shifts comprising a range of saccades and vergence movements. RESULTS: By analyzing eye acceleration records, the authors identified small-amplitude (0.2-0.7 degrees), high-frequency (23-33 Hz), conjugate horizontal oscillations of the eyes during the vergence movement that followed the initial saccade. When the shift of the fixation point required a large vergence component (17 degrees , every subject showed these oscillations; they were present in approximately a third of responses. Approximately 5% of responses showed oscillations that had horizontal and vertical components. Oscillations were less prominent with shifts that had smaller vergence components and were absent after saccades made between targets located at optical infinity. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that a common mechanism gates both the saccadic and vergence components of disjunctive gaze shifts, a likely candidate being the pontine omnipause neurons. When a saccade is immediately followed by a prolonged vergence movement, the omnipause neurons remain silent, leading to small-amplitude saccadic oscillations. Shifts in the point of visual fixation that require a large vergence movement may be a useful experimental strategy to induce saccadic oscillations.  (+info)

(38/2544) Reach plans in eye-centered coordinates.

The neural events associated with visually guided reaching begin with an image on the retina and end with impulses to the muscles. In between, a reaching plan is formed. This plan could be in the coordinates of the arm, specifying the direction and amplitude of the movement, or it could be in the coordinates of the eye because visual information is initially gathered in this reference frame. In a reach-planning area of the posterior parietal cortex, neural activity was found to be more consistent with an eye-centered than an arm-centered coding of reach targets. Coding of arm movements in an eye-centered reference frame is advantageous because obstacles that affect planning as well as errors in reaching are registered in this reference frame. Also, eye movements are planned in eye coordinates, and the use of similar coordinates for reaching may facilitate hand-eye coordination.  (+info)

(39/2544) Responses to auditory stimuli in macaque lateral intraparietal area. I. Effects of training.

The lateral intraparietal area (LIP) of macaques has been considered unresponsive to auditory stimulation. Recent reports, however, indicate that neurons in this area respond to auditory stimuli in the context of an auditory-saccade task. Is this difference in auditory responsiveness of LIP due to auditory-saccade training? To address this issue, LIP responses in two monkeys were recorded at two different times: before and after auditory-saccade training. Before auditory-saccade training, the animals had never been trained on any auditory task, but had been trained on visual tasks. In both sets of experiments, activity of LIP neurons was recorded while auditory and visual stimuli were presented and the animals were fixating. Before training, 172 LIP neurons were recorded. Among these, the number of cells responding to auditory stimuli did not reach significance, whereas about one-half of the cells responded to visual stimuli. An information theory analysis confirmed that no information about auditory stimulus location was available in LIP neurons in the experiments before training. After training, activity from 160 cells was recorded. These experiments showed that 12% of cells in area LIP responded to auditory stimuli, whereas the proportion of cells responding to visual stimuli remained about the same as before training. The information theory analysis confirmed that, after training, information about auditory stimulus location was available in LIP neurons. Auditory-saccade training therefore generated responsiveness to auditory stimuli de novo in LIP neurons. Thus some LIP cells become active for auditory stimuli in a passive fixation task, once the animals have learned that these stimuli are important for oculomotor behavior.  (+info)

(40/2544) Responses to auditory stimuli in macaque lateral intraparietal area. II. Behavioral modulation.

The lateral intraparietal area (LIP), a region of posterior parietal cortex, was once thought to be unresponsive to auditory stimulation. However, recent reports have indicated that neurons in area LIP respond to auditory stimuli during an auditory-saccade task. To what extent are auditory responses in area LIP dependent on the performance of an auditory-saccade task? To address this question, recordings were made from 160 LIP neurons in two monkeys while the animals performed auditory and visual memory-saccade and fixation tasks. Responses to auditory stimuli were significantly stronger during the memory-saccade task than during the fixation task, whereas responses to visual stimuli were not. Moreover, neurons responsive to auditory stimuli tended also to be visually responsive and to exhibit delay or saccade activity in the memory-saccade task. These results indicate that, in general, auditory responses in area LIP are modulated by behavioral context, are associated with visual responses, and are predictive of delay or saccade activity. Responses to auditory stimuli in area LIP may therefore be best interpreted as supramodal responses, and similar in nature to the delay activity, rather than as modality-specific sensory responses. The apparent link between auditory activity and oculomotor behavior suggests that the behavioral modulation of responses to auditory stimuli in area LIP reflects the selection of auditory stimuli as targets for eye movements.  (+info)