Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How the brain sends eyeballs bouncing

08.11.2007
All vision, including reading this sentence, depends on a constant series of infinitesimal jumps by the eyeball that centers the retina on target objects—words or phrases in the case of reading. Such jumps, or saccades, are critical to vision because only the small central region of the retina, called the fovea, produces the clear image necessary for perception. Such saccades take place several times a second and are generated within a brain region known as the frontal eye field (FEF).

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.

... more about:
»FEF »saccade

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!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com

Further reports about: FEF saccade

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria
22.03.2019 | Harvard University

nachricht Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack
22.03.2019 | Rice University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>