Cortical inhibitory circuits in eye-movement generation

Schiller PH; Tehovnik EJ
European Journal of Neuroscience, 2003, 18(11): 3127-33.

The role inhibitory circuits play in target selection with saccadic eye movements was examined in area V1, the frontal eye fields (FEF) and the lateral intraparietal sulcus (LIP) of the Rhesus Macaque monkey by making local infusions of the GABA agonist muscimol and antagonist bicuculline. In V1, both agents greatly interfered with target selection and visual discrimination of stimuli placed into the receptive field of the affected neurons. In the FEF, bicuculline facilitated target selection without affecting visual discrimination and generated many spontaneous saccades. Muscimol in the FEF interfered with saccadic eye-movement generation. In the LIP, bicuculline was ineffective and muscimol had only a small effect. These findings suggest that in the FEF GABAergic inhibitory circuits play a central role in eye-movement generation whereas in V1 these circuits are essential for visual analysis. Inhibitory circuits in the LIP do not appear to play a central role in target selection and in visual discrimination.