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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jun 14;113(24):6743-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1600095113. Epub 2016 May 2.

Express saccades and superior colliculus responses are sensitive to short-wavelength cone contrast.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh & Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
2
Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh & Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 ccolby@cnbc.cmu.edu.

Abstract

A key structure for directing saccadic eye movements is the superior colliculus (SC). The visual pathways that project to the SC have been reported to carry only luminance information and not color information. Short-wavelength-sensitive cones (S-cones) in the retina make little or no contribution to luminance signals, leading to the conclusion that S-cone stimuli should be invisible to SC neurons. The premise that S-cone stimuli are invisible to the SC has been used in numerous clinical and human psychophysical studies. The assumption that the SC cannot use S-cone stimuli to guide behavior has never been tested. We show here that express saccades, which depend on the SC, can be driven by S-cone input. Further, express saccade reaction times and changes in SC activity depend on the amount of S-cone contrast. These results demonstrate that the SC can use S-cone stimuli to guide behavior. We conclude that the use of S-cone stimuli is insufficient to isolate SC function in psychophysical and clinical studies of human subjects.

KEYWORDS:

S-cone; SC; macaque

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PMID:
27140613
PMCID:
PMC4914145
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1600095113
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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