Motion dependence of smooth pursuit eye movements in the marmoset.

TitleMotion dependence of smooth pursuit eye movements in the marmoset.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMitchell JF, Priebe NJ, Miller CT
JournalJ Neurophysiol
Date Published2015 Jun 01
KeywordsAcceleration, Animals, Callithrix, Motion, Motion Perception, Photic Stimulation, Pursuit, Smooth, Retina, Visual Fields

Smooth pursuit eye movements stabilize slow-moving objects on the retina by matching eye velocity with target velocity. Two critical components are required to generate smooth pursuit: first, because it is a voluntary eye movement, the subject must select a target to pursue to engage the tracking system; and second, generating smooth pursuit requires a moving stimulus. We examined whether this behavior also exists in the common marmoset, a New World primate that is increasingly attracting attention as a genetic model for mental disease and systems neuroscience. We measured smooth pursuit in two marmosets, previously trained to perform fixation tasks, using the standard Rashbass step-ramp pursuit paradigm. We first measured the aspects of visual motion that drive pursuit eye movements. Smooth eye movements were in the same direction as target motion, indicating that pursuit was driven by target movement rather than by displacement. Both the open-loop acceleration and closed-loop eye velocity exhibited a linear relationship with target velocity for slow-moving targets, but this relationship declined for higher speeds. We next examined whether marmoset pursuit eye movements depend on an active engagement of the pursuit system by measuring smooth eye movements evoked by small perturbations of motion from fixation or during pursuit. Pursuit eye movements were much larger during pursuit than from fixation, indicating that pursuit is actively gated. Several practical advantages of the marmoset brain, including the accessibility of the middle temporal (MT) area and frontal eye fields at the cortical surface, merit its utilization for studying pursuit movements.

Alternate JournalJ. Neurophysiol.
PubMed ID25867740
PubMed Central IDPMC4485767
Grant ListR21 MH104756 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01-EY-019288 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States
R21-MH-104756 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 EY019288 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States
R01 DC012087 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States
R01 EY025102 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States
R01-DC-012087 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States
IRG Funded