Differential effects of laminar stimulation of V1 on target selection by macaque monkeys.

Tehovnik EJ; Slocum WM; Schiller PH
European Journal of Neuroscience, 16 (4), 751-760.

We explored the effects of microstimulation on target selection by delivering stimulation at different depths within V1 (striate cortex) of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta). Stimulation evoked saccadic eye movements that terminated in the receptive field location of the activated neurons. The current thresholds for saccade evocation were highest (30 ľA or more) in the superficial layers and lowest (10 ľA or less) in the deep layers. To study target selection, one visual target was presented in the receptive-field location of the stimulated neurons and a second visual target was presented outside of this location. Microstimulation delivered in concert with the appearance of the two targets decreased the probability that a monkey would select the target placed in the receptive-field location when the upper layers of V1 were stimulated, and it increased this probability when the lower layers were stimulated. We suggest that microstimulation of the upper layers of V1 disrupts visual signals from retina en route to higher cortical areas, whereas microstimulation of the lower layers activates V1 efferents that innervate the oculomotor system.