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J Neurophysiol. 2006 May;95(5):2751-67. Epub 2005 Nov 16.

Spatial updating in area LIP is independent of saccade direction.

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Department of Neuroscience and Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


We explore the world around us by making rapid eye movements to objects of interest. Remarkably, these eye movements go unnoticed, and we perceive the world as stable. Spatial updating is one of the neural mechanisms that contributes to this perception of spatial constancy. Previous studies in macaque lateral intraparietal cortex (area LIP) have shown that individual neurons update, or "remap," the locations of salient visual stimuli at the time of an eye movement. The existence of remapping implies that neurons have access to visual information from regions far beyond the classically defined receptive field. We hypothesized that neurons have access to information located anywhere in the visual field. We tested this by recording the activity of LIP neurons while systematically varying the direction in which a stimulus location must be updated. Our primary finding is that individual neurons remap stimulus traces in multiple directions, indicating that LIP neurons have access to information throughout the visual field. At the population level, stimulus traces are updated in conjunction with all saccade directions, even when we consider direction as a function of receptive field location. These results show that spatial updating in LIP is effectively independent of saccade direction. Our findings support the hypothesis that the activity of LIP neurons contributes to the maintenance of spatial constancy throughout the visual field.

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