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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Relation of cortical areas MT and MST to pursuit eye movements. III. Interaction with full-field visual stimulation.

1. Pursuit eye movements are usually made against a visual background that is moved across the retina by the pursuit movement. We have investigated the effect of this visual stimulation on the response of pursuit cells that lie within the superior temporal sulcus (STS) of the monkey. 2. We assigned these pursuit cells to one of two groups depending on the nature of their preferred visual stimulus. One group of cells, comprising all cells located in the dorsal-medial region of the medial superior temporal area (MSTd) and some cells in lateral-anterior MST (MST1), responded to the motion of a large patterned field but showed little or no response to small spots or slits. The other group, consisting of all foveal middle temporal area (MTf) cells and many MST1 cells, responded preferentially to small spot motion or equally well to small spot motion or large field. 3. For many pursuit cells that preferred large-field stimuli, the visual response showed a reversal of the preferred direction of motion as the size of the stimulus field increased. The reversal usually occurred as the size of the moving random-dot field used as a stimulus increased in size from 20 x 20 degrees to 30 x 30 degrees for motion at approximately 10 degrees/s. The size of the filed stimulus leading to reversal of preferred direction depended on the speed of stimulus motion. Higher speeds of motion required larger stimulus fields to produce a reversal of preferred direction. This reversal (of preferred direction) did not reflect a center-surround organization of the receptive field but seemed to reflect the spatial summation properties of these cells. 4. For three-quarters of the cells that preferred large-field stimulation, the preferred direction of motion for the large field was opposite to the preferred direction of the pursuit response. The remaining cells showed either the same preferred directions for large-field visual stimulation and the pursuit response or had bidirectional visual responses. If we consider only the cells that show a reversal of preferred direction for large- and small-field stimuli, the preferred direction for the large field was always the opposite to that of pursuit, and the preferred direction for the small field was always the same. 5. During pursuit against a lighted background, the cells that showed opposite preferred directions for large-field stimulation and pursuit had synergistic responses--a facilitation of the pursuit response over the response during pursuit in the dark. Slow pursuit speeds (less than 20 degrees/s) produced the greatest facilitation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)[1]


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