Reconstruction of target speed for the guidance of pursuit eye movements.
We studied how object speed is reconstructed from the responses of motion-selective cells for the generation of a behavior that is tightly linked to the speed of visual motion. In theory, the speed of an object could be estimated either from the speed tuning of the active population of motion-selective cells or from the rate of displacement of activation across the cortical map of visual space. We measured the pursuit eye movements evoked by stimuli containing two conflicting motion components: a local component designed to excite motion-selective cells with a particular speed tuning and a displacement component designed to excite cells with a sequence of spatial receptive fields. Pursuit eye movements were driven primarily by the local-motion component and were affected to only a small degree by the rate of target displacement across visual space. Extracellular single-unit recordings using the same stimuli revealed that the responses of cells in the middle temporal visual area (MT) depended primarily on the local-motion component but were influenced by the displacement component to the same degree as were pursuit eye movements. We conclude that the initiation of pursuit is consistent with a reconstruction of target speed based on the speed tuning of the active population of MT cells.
Priebe, NJ; Churchland, MM; Lisberger, SG
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