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Exp Brain Res. 1988;70(3):496-512.

Neuronal activity in the dorsolateral pontine nucleus of the alert monkey modulated by visual stimuli and eye movements.

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1
Neurologische Universit├Ątsklinik, T├╝bingen, Federal Republic of Germany.

Abstract

The activity of neurons in the dorsolateral pontine nucleus (dlpn) was studied in two awake rhesus monkeys trained to participate in a variety of visual and oculomotor tests. The visual and eye movement related responses of 73 neurons encountered in the more caudal part of the dlpn were analyzed. Thirty eight of these could be assigned to one of the three following groups. Visual-only neurons (Type 1, n = 10) responded to movement of a broad range of visual stimuli in certain preferred directions. Their receptive fields were usually large, not restricted to the contralateral visual field and always included the fovea. Visual-tracking (VT) neurons (n = 28) discharged in relation to smooth pursuit of a small target in particular preferred directions. Nine of these (Type 2) did not respond to visual stimulation during stationary fixation. Nineteen VT-cells (Type 3) discharged in relation to both visual tracking and visual stimulation. In 9 of the Type 3 neurons, the preferred directions for visual stimulation and tracking were opposite, whereas they were the same in the other 10. Visual responses of Type 3 neurons were indistinguishable from those of Type 1 neurons. Testing of an additional 9 neurons driven by either visual-tracking or pattern movement was not sufficient to allow a definite assignment to one of the groups 1, 2 or 3. The distribution of preferred directions for both visual stimulation and visual tracking was widely scattered between 0 and 360 deg. Our results suggest that the dlpn is a constituent in a cerebro-cerebellar loop important for the generation of smooth pursuit eye movements.

PMID:
3384051
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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