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Published March 18, 2022 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Saccade-related neural communication in the human medial temporal lobe is modulated by the social relevance of stimuli


Humans predominantly explore their environment by moving their eyes. To optimally communicate and process visual information, neural activity needs to be coordinated with the execution of eye movements. We investigated the coordination between visual exploration and interareal neural communication by analyzing local field potentials and single neuron activity in patients with epilepsy. We demonstrated that during the free viewing of images, neural communication between the human amygdala and hippocampus is coordinated with the execution of eye movements. The strength and direction of neural communication and hippocampal saccade-related phase alignment were strongest for fixations that landed on human faces. Our results argue that the state of the human medial temporal lobe network is selectively coordinated with motor behavior. Interareal neural communication was facilitated for social stimuli as indexed by the category of the attended information.

Additional Information

© 2022 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY). Submitted 24 July 2021; Accepted 26 January 2022; Published 18 March 2022. We are indebted to all patients who volunteered their time to participate in this study. We thank the staff and physicians of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for assistance. This study was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH110831 to U.R. and P50MH100023 to K.M.G.), the National Science Foundation (1554105 to U.R.), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (U01NS117839 to U.R.), a Center for Neural Science and Medicine Fellowship to J.M. and the European Research Council (grant 802681 to T.S.). Author contributions: Conceptualization: U.R. and K.M.G. Investigation: J.M., U.R., and A.N.M. Formal analysis: T.S. and J.M. Writing (original draft): T.S., J.M., and U.R. Writing (reviewing and editing): T.S., J.M., U.R., and K.M.G. Supervision: U.R. Funding acquisition: U.R. The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Data and materials availability: All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials. Also, the data and code used to generate these results have been deposited and are available through the Open Science Framework (OSF) repository (DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/XEJCA).

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Published - sciadv.abl6037.pdf

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August 20, 2023
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