Frontal eye field neurons orthodromically activated from the superior colliculus.

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Frontal eye field neurons orthodromically activated from the superior colliculus. J. Neurophysiol. 80: 3331-3333, 1998. Anatomical studies have shown that the frontal eye field (FEF) and superior colliculus (SC) of monkeys are reciprocally connected, and a physiological study described the signals sent from the FEF to the SC. Nothing is known, however, about the signals sent from the SC to the FEF. We physiologically identified and characterized FEF neurons that are likely to receive input from the SC. Fifty-two FEF neurons were found that were orthodromically activated by electrical stimulation of the intermediate or deeper layers of the SC. All the neurons that we tested (n = 34) discharged in response to visual stimulation. One-half also discharged when saccadic eye movements were made. This provides the first direct evidence that the ascending pathway from SC to FEF might carry visual- and saccade-related signals. Our findings support a hypothesis that the SC and the FEF interact bidirectionally during the events leading up to saccade generation.







Marc A. Sommer

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

We study circuits for cognition. Using a combination of neurophysiology and biomedical engineering, we focus on the interaction between brain areas during visual perception, decision-making, and motor planning. Specific projects include the role of frontal cortex in metacognition, the role of cerebellar-frontal circuits in action timing, the neural basis of "good enough" decision-making (satisficing), and the neural mechanisms of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

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