Response fields of intraparietal neurons quantified with multiple saccadic targets.
The activity of each of 99 intraparietal neurons was studied in three awake-behaving rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) while subjects performed 100-900 delayed saccade trials. On each trial, a saccadic target was presented at one location selected randomly from a grid of 441 locations spanning 40 degrees of horizontal and vertical visual space. Individual neurons in our population were sensitive to both the direction and amplitude of saccades. Response fields, which plotted firing rate as a function of the horizontal and vertical amplitude of movements for each neuron, were characterized by a Cartesian two-dimensional gaussian model. The goodness-of-fit of these gaussian models was tested by: (1) comparing observed responses with predicted responses for each movement; and (2) by computing the percentage of variance explained by each model. Cartesian Gaussian models provided a good fit to the response fields of most neurons. Across our population, the Gaussian fit to the response field of each neuron accounted for more of the variance in neuronal activity when the data were plotted with regard to the horizontal and vertical amplitude of the saccade than when the same data were plotted with regard to the position of the saccadic target. The Gaussian functions were used to estimate the eccentricity and spatial tuning breadth of each neuronal response field. Modal response field radius was less than 5 degrees, whereas mean response field radius was about 10 degrees. Linear regression analysis demonstrated that response field eccentricity accounted for less than 30% of the variance in response field radius. Analysis of the horizontal distribution of response field centers showed an approximately normal distribution around central fixation. Most histologically recovered neurons were located on the lateral bank of the intraparietal sulcus, although a small number of saccade-related neurons were recorded from Brodmann's area 5 on the medial bank of the intraparietal sulcus.
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