Dissociation of visual discrimination from saccade programming in macaque frontal eye field.

Thompson KG, Bichot NP, Schall JD
J Neurophysiol. 1997 77 (2): 1046-50

PMID: 9065870 · DOI:10.1152/jn.1997.77.2.1046

To determine whether visual discrimination in macaque frontal eye field (FEF) is contingent on saccade planning, unit activity was recorded in two monkeys during blocked go and no-go visual search trials. The eye movements made by monkeys after correct no-go trials, in addition to an attenuation of the visual responses in no-go trials compared with go trials, indicated that covert saccade planning was effectively discouraged. During no-go search trials, the activity of the majority of neurons evolved to signal the location of the oddball stimulus. The degree and time course of the stimulus discrimination process observed in no-go trials was not different from that observed in go trials. We conclude that the discrimination of a salient visual stimulus reflected by FEF neurons is not contingent on saccade production but rather may reflect the outcome of an automatic visual selection process.

MeSH Terms (6)

Animals Macaca Ocular Physiological Phenomena Saccades Visual Cortex Visual Fields

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