Temporal dynamics of 2D motion integration for ocular following in macaque monkeys.
ABSTRACT Several recent studies have shown that extracting pattern motion direction is a dynamical process where edge motion is first extracted and pattern-related information is encoded with a small time lag by MT neurons. A similar dynamics was found for human reflexive or voluntary tracking. Here, we bring an essential, but still missing, piece of information by documenting macaque ocular following responses to gratings, unikinetic plaids, and barber-poles. We found that ocular tracking was always initiated first in the grating motion direction with ultra-short latencies (approximately 55 ms). A second component was driven only 10-15 ms later, rotating tracking toward pattern motion direction. At the end the open-loop period, tracking direction was aligned with pattern motion direction (plaids) or the average of the line-ending motion directions (barber-poles). We characterized the dependency on contrast of each component. Both timing and direction of ocular following were quantitatively very consistent with the dynamics of neuronal responses reported by others. Overall, we found a remarkable consistency between neuronal dynamics and monkey behavior, advocating for a direct link between the neuronal solution of the aperture problem and primate perception and action.