Auditory saccades from different eye positions in the monkey: implications for coordinate transformations.
Auditory spatial information arises in a head-centered coordinate frame, whereas the saccade command signals generated by the superior colliculus (SC) are thought to specify target locations in an eye-centered frame. However, auditory activity in the SC appears to be neither head- nor eye-centered but in a reference frame that is intermediate between both of these reference frames. This neurophysiological finding suggests that auditory saccades might not fully compensate for changes in initial eye position. Here, we investigated whether the accuracy of saccades to sounds is affected by initial eye position in rhesus monkeys. We found that, on average, a 12 degrees horizontal shift in initial eye position produced only a 0.6 to 1.6 degrees horizontal shift in the endpoints of auditory saccades made to targets at a range of locations along the horizontal meridian. This shift was similar in size to the modest influence of eye position on visual saccades. This virtually complete compensation for initial eye position implies that auditory activity in the SC is read out in a manner that is appropriate for generating accurate saccades to sounds.
Metzger, RR; Mullette-Gillman, OA; Underhill, AM; Cohen, YE; Groh, JM
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