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Prog Brain Res. 2008;171:253-60. doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(08)00635-3.

MSTd neurons during ocular following and smooth pursuit perturbation.

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Department of Neurology and Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.


MSTd neurons in the behaving monkey were investigated during step-ramp smooth pursuit eye movements (SPEM), short perturbations of the small visual target during ongoing pursuit, and large-field visual stimulation inducing ocular following responses (OFR). Neurons responded with short latencies to visual motion during OFR. In contrast the non-retinal responses during SPEM and perturbations followed the eye movements by 100-150 ms and were in the opposite direction to the OFR response. Often neurons were not modulated by the perturbation. Although, both the OFR and the perturbation response are involuntary eye movements due to visual motion, it seems very unlikely that these MSTd neurons with non-retinal responses are involved in their direct control. Based on these responses, we suggest that our MSTd neurons may code for gaze direction in space based on visual estimates of self-motion and extraretinal estimates of eye-in-head motion.

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