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Hum Brain Mapp. 2015 Dec;36(12):5220-32. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23006. Epub 2015 Sep 29.

Evidence that smooth pursuit velocity, not eye position, modulates alpha and beta oscillations in human middle temporal cortex.

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Department of Diagnostic Imaging, the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.
School of Psychology, CUBRIC (Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre), Cardiff University, Park Place, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


Suppression of 5-25 Hz oscillations have been observed in MT+ during pursuit eye movements, suggesting oscillations that play a role in oculomotor control and/or the integration of extraretinal signals during pursuit. The amplitude of these rhythms appears to covary with head-centered eye position, but an alternative is that they depend on a velocity signal that lags the movement of the eyes. To investigate, we explored how alpha and beta amplitude changes related to ongoing eye movement depended on pursuit at different eccentricities. The results revealed largely identical patterns of modulation in the alpha and beta amplitude, irrespective of the eccentricity at which the pursuit eye movement was performed. The signals we measured therefore do not depend on head-centered position. A second experiment was designed to investigate whether the alpha and beta oscillations depended on the direction of pursuit, as opposed to just speed. We found no evidence that alpha or beta oscillations depended on direction, but there was a significant effect of eye speed on the magnitude of the beta suppression. This suggests distinct functional roles for alpha and beta suppression in pursuit behavior.


MT+/MST; extra-retinal signals; magnetoencephalography; neuronal oscillations; smooth pursuit

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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