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J Neurophysiol. 1994 Jul;72(1):150-62.

Temporal properties of visual motion signals for the initiation of smooth pursuit eye movements in monkeys.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physiology, W. M. Keck Foundation Center for Integrative Neuroscience, San Francisco, California.

Abstract

1. Our goal was to assess whether visual motion signals related to changes in image velocity contribute to pursuit eye movements. We recorded the smooth eye movements evoked by ramp target motion at constant speed. In two different kinds of stimuli, the onset of target motion provided either an abrupt, step change in target velocity or a smooth target acceleration that lasted 125 ms followed by prolonged target motion at constant velocity. We measured the eye acceleration in the first 100 ms of pursuit. Because of the 100-ms latency from the onset of visual stimuli to the onset of smooth eye movement, the eye acceleration in this 100-ms interval provides an estimate of the open-loop response of the visuomotor pathways that drive pursuit. 2. For steps of target velocity, eye acceleration in the first 100 ms of pursuit depended on the "motion onset delay," defined as the interval between the appearance of the target and the onset of motion. If the motion onset delay was > 100 ms, then the initial eye movement consisted of separable early and late phases of eye acceleration. The early phase dominated eye acceleration in the interval from 0 to 40 ms after pursuit onset and was relatively insensitive to image speed. The late phase dominated eye acceleration in the interval 40-100 ms after the onset of pursuit and had an amplitude that was proportional to image speed. If there was no delay between the appearance of the target and the onset of its motion, then the early component was not seen, and eye acceleration was related to target speed throughout the first 100 ms of pursuit. 3. For step changes of target velocity, the relationship between eye acceleration in the first 40 ms of pursuit and target velocity saturated at target speeds > 10 degrees /s. In contrast, the relationship was nearly linear when eye acceleration was measured in the interval 40-100 ms after the onset of pursuit. We suggest that the first 40 ms of pursuit are driven by a transient visual motion input that is related to the onset of target motion (motion onset transient component) and that the next 60 ms are driven by a sustained visual motion input (image velocity component). 4. When the target accelerated smoothly for 125 ms before moving at constant speed, the initiation of pursuit resembled that evoked by steps of target velocity. However, the latency of pursuit was consistently longer for smooth target accelerations than for steps of target velocity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

PMID:
7965001
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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