Document Detail

Superior colliculus inactivation alters the relationship between covert visual attention and microsaccades.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23331638     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Microsaccades are tiny saccades that occur during gaze fixation. Whereas these movements have traditionally been viewed as random, it was recently discovered that microsaccade directions can be significantly biased by covertly attended visual stimuli. The detailed mechanisms mediating such a bias are neither known nor immediately obvious, especially because the amplitudes of the movements influenced by attentional cueing could be up to two orders of magnitude smaller than the eccentricity of the attended location. Here, we tested whether activity in the peripheral superior colliculus (SC) is necessary for this correlation between attentional cueing and microsaccades. We reversibly and focally inactivated SC neurons representing peripheral regions of visual space while rhesus monkeys performed a demanding covert visual attention task. The normal bias of microsaccade directions observed in each monkey before SC inactivation was eliminated when a cue was placed in the visual region affected by the inactivation; microsaccades were, instead, biased away from the affected visual space. When the cue was placed at another location unaffected by SC inactivation, the baseline cue-induced bias of microsaccade directions remained mostly intact, because the cue was in unaffected visual space, and any remaining changes were again explained by a repulsion of microsaccades away from the inactivated region. Our results indicate that peripheral SC activity is required for the link between microsaccades and the cueing of covert visual attention, and that it could do so by altering the probability of triggering microsaccades without necessarily affecting the motor generation of these movements.
Ziad M Hafed; Lee P Lovejoy; Richard J Krauzlis
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2013-01-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  The European journal of neuroscience     Volume:  37     ISSN:  1460-9568     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur. J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2013 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-04-04     Completed Date:  2013-09-24     Revised Date:  2014-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8918110     Medline TA:  Eur J Neurosci     Country:  France    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1169-81     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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MeSH Terms
Fixation, Ocular / physiology
Macaca mulatta
Psychomotor Performance*
Saccades / physiology*
Superior Colliculi / physiology*
Visual Perception
Grant Support

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