In studies with monkeys, Robert Schafer and Tirin Moore have taken an important step in understanding how circuitry of the FEF generates saccades—with the FEF’s attentional circuitry governing the motor circuitry that produces saccades. The researchers published their findings in the November 8, 2007, issue of the journal Neuron, published by Cell Press.
In a preview of the paper in the same issue of Neuron, Stefan Everling wrote that the researchers’ findings “are exciting, because they demonstrate that attention and action interact more closely in the FEF than previously thought, and they suggest a mechanism by which attention can modulate saccade motor commands.” Everling is at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.
In their experiments, Schafer and Moore took advantage of a well-known optical phenomenon involving the influence of the motion of a drifting grating on saccades that target the grating. The moving grating causes a motion-induced bias of saccades; for example, if the eye makes a saccade to a grating that is drifting upward, that saccade to the grating is biased to land higher than it would if the grating were stationary.
The researchers trained monkeys to shift their gaze to such moving gratings upon command, in return for a juice reward. During the experiments, the researchers used eyetracking to precisely measure the direction of the animals’ gaze. After measuring how the saccades were influenced by the grating motion, the researchers then electrically “microstimulated” the FEF. They then analyzed how such microstimulation affected the saccades to moving gratings.
The researchers said their analyses “indicate that the attentional effects of microstimulation determine the metrics of concurrently planned saccades, causing them to be more strongly influenced by the visual target features.” They wrote that even though the two roles of FEF circuitry—attention and motor—can be experimentally teased apart, “our results suggest that the saccadic role depends on the attentional role to select the features of the visual target and the best movement to foveate it.”
Cathleen Genova | EurekAlert!
Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences