Division of labor in frontal eye field neurons during presaccadic remapping of visual receptive fields.
Our percept of visual stability across saccadic eye movements may be mediated by presaccadic remapping. Just before a saccade, neurons that remap become visually responsive at a future field (FF), which anticipates the saccade vector. Hence, the neurons use corollary discharge of saccades. Many of the neurons also decrease their response at the receptive field (RF). Presaccadic remapping occurs in several brain areas including the frontal eye field (FEF), which receives corollary discharge of saccades in its layer IV from a collicular-thalamic pathway. We studied, at two levels, the microcircuitry of remapping in the FEF. At the laminar level, we compared remapping between layers IV and V. At the cellular level, we compared remapping between different neuron types of layer IV. In the FEF in four monkeys (Macaca mulatta), we identified 27 layer IV neurons with orthodromic stimulation and 57 layer V neurons with antidromic stimulation from the superior colliculus. With the use of established criteria, we classified the layer IV neurons as putative excitatory (n = 11), putative inhibitory (n = 12), or ambiguous (n = 4). We found that just before a saccade, putative excitatory neurons increased their visual response at the RF, putative inhibitory neurons showed no change, and ambiguous neurons increased their visual response at the FF. None of the neurons showed presaccadic visual changes at both RF and FF. In contrast, neurons in layer V showed full remapping (at both the RF and FF). Our data suggest that elemental signals for remapping are distributed across neuron types in early cortical processing and combined in later stages of cortical microcircuitry.
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