Short-term changes in movement frequency do not alter the spatial tuning of saccade-related neurons in intraparietal cortex

Michael L. Platt, Paul W. Glimcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Modulations of the firing rates of neurons in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) have been observed during experiments designed to examine decision-processing, movement planning, and visual attention. These modulations have been assumed to reflect a uniform scaling of spatially stationary response fields, which describe firing rate as a function of either visual target location or movement metrics. However, because complete response fields are rarely collected, the possibility exists that these modulations may reflect shifts in response field location or changes in response field size. Moreover, many of these observed changes in LIP neuronal activity are also correlated with experimental practices that alter the frequency with which particular visual stimuli are viewed and particular movements are produced. The effects of repeatedly presenting a particular target and eliciting a particular movement on the response fields of LIP neurons warrant closer inspection because manipulations of this type are known to alter both the location and size of the receptive fields of many cortical sensory neurons. To address this issue, we measured the response fields of neurons in intraparietal cortex under two conditions over a period of up to 2 h: one in which each of nearly 200 stimulus locations was equally likely to serve as the saccade target on a trial, and a second in which one stimulus location was up to 750 times likelier to serve as the saccade target on a trial than were any of the other stimulus locations. We found no shifts in response field location or changes in response field size when we altered the frequency with which particular movements were produced or particular visual stimuli were presented. These data suggest that the response fields of intraparietal neurons are stationary over short periods of time and under conditions similar to those typically used to study LIP neuronal activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume132
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Parietal cortex
  • Plasticity
  • Probability
  • Saccade
  • Spatial tuning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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