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Vis Neurosci. 2006 Jan-Feb;23(1):49-60.

Radial motion bias in macaque frontal eye field.

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Columbia University, Department of Psychiatry, Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, David Mahoney Center for Brain and Behavior Research, New York, New York 10032, USA.


The visual responsiveness and spatial tuning of frontal eye field (FEF) neurons were determined using a delayed memory saccade task. Neurons with visual responses were then tested for direction selectivity using moving random dot patterns centered in the visual receptive field. The preferred axis of motion showed a significant tendency to be aligned with the receptive-field location so as to favor motion toward or away from the center of gaze. Centrifugal (outward) motion was preferred over centripetal motion. Motion-sensitive neurons in FEF thus appear to have a direction bias at the population level. This bias may facilitate the detection or discrimination of expanding optic flow patterns. The direction bias is similar to that seen in visual area MT and in posterior parietal cortex, from which FEF receives afferent projections. The outward motion bias may explain asymmetries in saccades made to moving targets. A representation of optic flow in FEF might be useful for planning eye movements during navigation.

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