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Neurosci Res. 1992 Oct;15(1-2):102-14.

Burst discharges of mossy fibers in the oculomotor vermis of macaque monkeys during saccadic eye movements.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Sapporo Medical College, Japan.


Mossy fiber activity was recorded from the oculomotor vermis (lobules VIc and VII) during visually guided saccades. Saccade-related activities of 99 mossy fiber units were observed in two alert macaque monkeys. Ninety-six units were characterized by high-frequency bursts of firing in response to visually guided saccades (burst unit). These units were silent during all periods of fixation in any gaze position. Three units showed eye position-related tonic discharges with saccadic bursts. The lead time of saccadic bursts ranged from 2.6 to 80.5 ms (mean 27.9 ms, SD 16.6 ms). About 75% of the burst units exhibited a long lead burst characterized by a slow buildup, while the remaining units showed short lead bursts with a sharp onset. About 80% of the units showed burst in association with contralaterally directed saccades. The remaining units exhibited bursts in association with ipsilateral saccades. Preferred directions in this population covered the entire field including the vertical and the oblique. About 68% of long lead burst units exhibited the movement field which consists of a whole sector of the entire oculomotor range (directional type). About 32% of long lead burst units showed the movement field which is a closed area within the oculomotor range (vectorial type). On the other hand, peak frequency of short lead burst units increased in proportion to saccade amplitude. The end of the burst in all units always preceded the completion of saccade. The end of burst was time-locked to the completion of saccade, so that the lead time from the end of burst to the end of saccade was consistent among these units and, was constant regardless of saccadic amplitude. The duration between the peak and the offset of burst was correlated with the amplitude of saccade (0.63 < or = r < or = 0.83). Long lead burst of mossy fibers was almost comparable to burst activity in the nucleus reticularis tegmenti pontis (NRTP), while short lead burst of mossy fibers closely resembles activity of excitatory burst neurons in the paramedian pontine reticular formation (PPRF). These findings suggest that the cerebellum receives command signal from the superior colliculus via the NRTP and feedback signal from the PPRF.

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