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On-line compensation of gaze shifts perturbed by micro-stimulation of the superior colliculus in the cat with unrestrained head.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Experimental brain research
Publication Date
Volume
106
Issue
2
Pages
196–204
Identifiers
PMID: 8566184
Source
Medline

Abstract

Prior studies have led to the gaze feedback hypothesis, which states that quick orienting movements of the visual axis (gaze shifts) are controlled by a feedback system. We have previously provided evidence for this hypothesis by extending the original study of Mays and Sparks (1980) to the cat with unrestrained head (Pélisson et al. 1989). We showed that cats compensated for a stimulation-induced perturbation of initial gaze position by generating, in the dark, an accurate gaze shift towards the remembered location of a flashed target. In the present study, we investigate goal-directed gaze shifts perturbed "in flight" by a brief stimulation of the superior colliculus. The microstimulation parameters were tuned such that significant perturbations were induced without halting the movement. The ambient light was turned off at the onset of the gaze shift, suppressing any visual feedback. We observed that, following stimulation offset, the gaze shift showed temporal and spatial changes in its trajectory to compensate for the transient perturbation. Such compensations, which occurred "on-line" before gaze shift termination, involved both eye and head movements and had dynamic characteristics resembling those of unperturbed saccadic gaze shifts. These on-line compensations maintained gaze accuracy when the stimulation was applied during the early phase of large and medium (about 60 and 40 degrees) movements. These results are compatible with the notion of a gaze feedback loop providing a dynamic gaze error signal.

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