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Separate representations of target and timing cue locations in the supplementary eye fields

Campos, Michael and Breznen, Boris and Andersen, Richard A. (2009) Separate representations of target and timing cue locations in the supplementary eye fields. Journal of Neurophysiology, 101 (1). pp. 448-459. ISSN 0022-3077. PMCID PMC3815215.

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When different stimuli indicate where and when to make an eye movement, the brain areas involved in oculomotor control must selectively plan an eye movement to the stimulus that encodes the target position and also encode the information available from the timing cue. This could pose a challenge to the oculomotor system since the representation of the timing stimulus location in one brain area might be interpreted by downstream neurons as a competing motor plan. Evidence from diverse sources has suggested that the supplementary eye fields (SEF) play an important role in behavioral timing, so we recorded single-unit activity from SEF to characterize how target and timing cues are encoded in this region. Two monkeys performed a variant of the memory-guided saccade task, in which a timing stimulus was presented at a randomly chosen eccentric location. Many spatially tuned SEF neurons encoded only the location of the target and not the timing stimulus, whereas several other SEF neurons encoded the location of the timing stimulus and not the target. The SEF population therefore encoded the location of each stimulus with largely distinct neuronal subpopulations. For comparison, we recorded a small population of lateral intraparietal (LIP) neurons in the same task. We found that most LIP neurons that encoded the location of the target also encoded the location of the timing stimulus after its presentation, but selectively encoded the intended eye movement plan in advance of saccade initiation. These results suggest that SEF, by conditionally encoding the location of instructional stimuli depending on their meaning, can help identify which movement plan represented in other oculomotor structures, such as LIP, should be selected for the next eye movement.

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Additional Information:© 2009 by the The American Physiological Society. Submitted 23 June 2008; accepted in final form 8 November 2008. We thank I. Kagan for assistance with anatomical MRls, A. Gail and V. Scherbatyuk for technical assistance, T. Yao for administrative assistance, and K. Pesja and N. Sammons for animal care. This work was supported by the National Eye Institute and the James G. Boswell Foundation. 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
National Eye InstituteUNSPECIFIED
James G. Boswell FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1
PubMed Central ID:PMC3815215
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:CAMjnp09
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13297
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Feb 2009 22:08
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:36

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