Discharge properties of MST neurons that project to the frontal pursuit area in macaque monkeys.
We have used antidromic activation to determine the functional discharge properties of neurons that project to the frontal pursuit area (FPA) from the medial-superior temporal visual area (MST). In awake rhesus monkeys, MST neurons were considered to be activated antidromically if they emitted action potentials at fixed, short latencies after stimulation in the FPA and if the activation passed the collision test. Antidromically activated neurons (n = 37) and a sample of the overall population of MST neurons (n = 110) then were studied during pursuit eye movements across a dark background and during laminar motion of a large random-dot texture and optic flow expansion and contraction during fixation. Antidromically activated neurons showed direction tuning during pursuit (25/37), during laminar image motion (21/37), or both (16/37). Of 27 neurons tested with optic flow stimuli, 14 showed tuning for optic flow expansion (n = 10) or contraction (n = 4). There were no statistically significant differences in the response properties of the antidromically activated and control samples. Preferred directions for pursuit and laminar image motion did not show any statistically significant biases, and the preferred directions for eye versus image motion in each sample tended to be equally divided between aligned and opposed. There were small differences between the control and antidromically activated populations in preferred speeds for laminar motion and optic flow; these might have reached statistical significance with larger samples of antidromically activated neurons. We conclude that the population of MST neurons projecting to the FPA is highly diverse and quite similar to the general population of neurons in MST.
Churchland, AK; Lisberger, SG
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