Article

Visual Guidance of Smooth-Pursuit Eye Movements: Sensation, Action, and What Happens in Between

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Physiology, and W.M. Keck Foundation Center for Integrative Neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0444, USA.
Neuron (Impact Factor: 15.98). 05/2010; 66(4):477-91. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.03.027
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Smooth-pursuit eye movements transform 100 ms of visual motion into a rapid initiation of smooth eye movement followed by sustained accurate tracking. Both the mean and variation of the visually driven pursuit response can be accounted for by the combination of the mean tuning curves and the correlated noise within the sensory representation of visual motion in extrastriate visual area MT. Sensory-motor and motor circuits have both housekeeping and modulatory functions, implemented in the cerebellum and the smooth eye movement region of the frontal eye fields. The representation of pursuit is quite different in these two regions of the brain, but both regions seem to control pursuit directly with little or no noise added downstream. Finally, pursuit exhibits a number of voluntary characteristics that happen on short timescales. These features make pursuit an excellent exemplar for understanding the general properties of sensory-motor processing in the brain.

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