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Pursuit Speed Compensation in Cortical Area MSTd

Shenoy, Krishna V. and Crowell, James A. and Andersen, Richard A. (2002) Pursuit Speed Compensation in Cortical Area MSTd. Journal of Neurophysiology, 88 (5). pp. 2630-2647. ISSN 0022-3077. doi:10.1152/jn.00002.2001.

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When we move forward the visual images on our retinas expand. Humans rely on the focus, or center, of this expansion to estimate their direction of self-motion or heading and, as long as the eyes are still, the retinal focus corresponds to the heading. However, smooth pursuit eye movements add visual motion to the expanding retinal image and displace the focus of expansion. In spite of this, humans accurately judge their heading during pursuit eye movements even though the retinal focus no longer corresponds to the heading. Recent studies in macaque suggest that correction for pursuit may occur in the dorsal aspect of the medial superior temporal area (MSTd); neurons in this area are tuned to the retinal position of the focus and they modify their tuning to partially compensate for the focus shift caused by pursuit. However, the question remains whether these neurons shift focus tuning more at faster pursuit speeds, to compensate for the larger focus shifts created by faster pursuit. To investigate this question, we recorded from 40 MSTd neurons while monkeys made pursuit eye movements at a range of speeds across simulated self- or object motion displays. We found that most MSTd neurons modify their focus tuning more at faster pursuit speeds, consistent with the idea that they encode heading and other motion parameters regardless of pursuit speed. Across the population, the median rate of compensation increase with pursuit speed was 51% as great as required for perfect compensation. We recorded from the same neurons in a simulated pursuit condition, in which gaze was fixed but the entire display counter-rotated to produce the same retinal image as during real pursuit. This condition yielded the result that retinal cues contribute to pursuit compensation; the rate of compensation increase was 30% of that required for accurate encoding of heading. The difference between these two conditions was significant (P < 0.05), indicating that extraretinal cues also contribute significantly. We found a systematic antialignment between preferred pursuit and preferred visual motion directions. Neurons may use this antialignment to combine retinal and extraretinal compensatory cues. These results indicate that many MSTd neurons compensate for pursuit velocity, pursuit direction as previously reported and pursuit speed, and further implicate MSTd as a critical stage in the computation of egomotion.

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Andersen, Richard A.0000-0002-7947-0472
Additional Information:© 2002 The American Physiological Society. Received 4 January 2001; Accepted 8 July 2002; Published online 1 November 2002; Published in print 1 November 2002. We thank Dr. D. C. Bradley for scientific discussions, B. Gillikin for veterinary assistance, and Dr. M. Sahani for developing the real-time control software HYDRA2. We also thank C. Reyes for administrative assistance and V. Shcherbatyuk for computer management. This work was supported in part by National Eye Institute Grant EY-07492, postdoctoral grant EY-06752 to K.V. Shenoy, the Sloan Foundation for Theoretical Neurobiology at Caltech, the Office of Naval Research, and the Human Frontiers Scientific Program. The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. The article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical NeurobiologyUNSPECIFIED
Office of Naval Research (ONR)UNSPECIFIED
Human Frontier Science ProgramUNSPECIFIED
National Eye InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200401-093036092
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Official Citation:Pursuit Speed Compensation in Cortical Area MSTd. Krishna V. Shenoy, James A. Crowell, and Richard A. Andersen. Journal of Neurophysiology 2002 88:5, 2630-2647; doi: 10.1152/jn.00002.2001
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102229
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Apr 2020 16:58
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:10

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