Rapid processing of retinal slip during saccades in macaque area MT

N. S C Price, M. R. Ibbotson, S. Ono, M. J. Mustari

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The primate middle temporal area (MT) is involved in the analysis and perception of visual motion, which is generated actively by eye and body movements and passively when objects move. We studied the responses of single cells in area MT of awake macaques, comparing the direction tuning and latencies of responses evoked by wide-field texture motion during fixation (passive viewing) and during rewarded, target-directed saccades and nonrewarded, spontaneous saccades over the same stationary texture (active viewing). We found that MT neurons have similar motion sensitivity and direction-selectivity for retinal slip associated with active and passive motion. No cells showed reversals in direction tuning between the active and passive viewing conditions. However, mean latencies were significantly different for saccade-evoked responses (30 ms) and stimulus-evoked responses (67 ms). Our results demonstrate that neurons in area MT retain their direction-selectivity and display reduced processing times during saccades. This rapid, accurate processing of peri-saccadic motion may facilitate postsaccadic ocular following reflexes or corrective saccades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-246
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes

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