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J Neurophysiol. 2010 Nov;104(5):2624-33. doi: 10.1152/jn.00752.2009. Epub 2010 Jul 21.

Representation of the ipsilateral visual field by neurons in the macaque lateral intraparietal cortex depends on the forebrain commissures.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience and Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Our eyes are constantly moving, allowing us to attend to different visual objects in the environment. With each eye movement, a given object activates an entirely new set of visual neurons, yet we perceive a stable scene. One neural mechanism that may contribute to visual stability is remapping. Neurons in several brain regions respond to visual stimuli presented outside the receptive field when an eye movement brings the stimulated location into the receptive field. The stored representation of a visual stimulus is remapped, or updated, in conjunction with the saccade. Remapping depends on neurons being able to receive visual information from outside the classic receptive field. In previous studies, we asked whether remapping across hemifields depends on the forebrain commissures. We found that, when the forebrain commissures are transected, behavior dependent on accurate spatial updating is initially impaired but recovers over time. Moreover, neurons in lateral intraparietal cortex (LIP) continue to remap information across hemifields in the absence of the forebrain commissures. One possible explanation for the preserved across-hemifield remapping in split-brain animals is that neurons in a single hemisphere could represent visual information from both visual fields. In the present study, we measured receptive fields of LIP neurons in split-brain monkeys and compared them with receptive fields in intact monkeys. We found a small number of neurons with bilateral receptive fields in the intact monkeys. In contrast, we found no such neurons in the split-brain animals. We conclude that bilateral representations in area LIP following forebrain commissures transection cannot account for remapping across hemifields.

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