Interactions between visually and electrically elicited saccades before and after superior colliculus and frontal eye field ablations in the rhesus monkey.

Schiller PH; Sandell JH
Experimental Brain Research, 1983, 49:3, 381-92.

Recent work has shown that humans and monkeys utilize both retinal error and eye position signals to compute the direction and amplitude of saccadic eye movements (Hallett and Lightstone 1976a, b; Mays and Sparks 1980b). The aim of this study was to examine the role the frontal eye fields (FEF) and the superior colliculi (SC) play in this computation. Rhesus monkeys were trained to acquire small, briefly flashed spots of light with saccadic eye movements. During the latency period between target extinction and saccade initiation, their eyes were displaced, in total darkness, by electrical stimulation of either the FEF, the SC or the abducens nucleus area. Under such conditions animals compensated for the electrically induced ocular displacement and correctly reached the visual target area, suggesting that both a retinal error and eye position errorsignal were computed. The amplitude and direction of the electrically induced saccades depended not only on the site stimulated but also on the amplitude and direction of the eye movement initiated by the animal to acquire the target. When the eye movements initiated by the animal coincided with the saccades initiated by electrical stimulation, the resultant saccade was the weighted average of the two, where one weighing factor was the intensity of the electrical stimulus. Animals did not acquire targets correctly when their eyes were displaced, prior to their intended eye movements, by stimulating in the abducens nucleus area. After bilateral ablation of either the FEF or the SC monkeys were still able to acquire visual targets when their eyes were displaced, prior to saccade initiation, by electrical stimulation of the remaining intact structure. These results suggest that neither the FEF nor the SC is uniquely responsible for the combined computation of the retinal error and the eye position error signals.

Unique Identifier84058130
Publication Type JOURNAL ARTICLE
ISSN 0014-4819
Country of Publication GERMANY, WEST