September 2019
Volume 19, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2019
Induction of Shape Selectivity in Macaque Frontal Eye Field Dissociates Perceptual and Motor Processing Stages of Visual Search
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kaleb A Lowe
    Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University
    Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University
    Vanderbilt Vision Research Center, Vanderbilt University
  • Jeffrey D Schall
    Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University
    Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University
    Vanderbilt Vision Research Center, Vanderbilt University
Journal of Vision September 2019, Vol.19, 132c. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.132c
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      Kaleb A Lowe, Jeffrey D Schall; Induction of Shape Selectivity in Macaque Frontal Eye Field Dissociates Perceptual and Motor Processing Stages of Visual Search. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):132c. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.132c.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Neurons in frontal eye field (FEF) respond to visual stimulation, before eye movements, and both. These responses differentiate whether or not a stimulus is a saccade target. This differentiation, or target selection, is stimulus-locked for many neurons. Importantly, this target selection does not usually depend on the features that define a target as such, because most neurons in FEF do not exhibit intrinsic feature selectivity. However, consistent mapping of a stimulus feature and reward can elicit feature selectivity. Whether this feature selectivity is similarly stimulus-locked or if it is related to the selection of a saccade endpoint is unknown. We developed a search pro-/anti-saccade task in which shape varies among stimuli but does not define the saccade target. One monkey tested in this task developed a strategy that exploits an incidental shape-response association as opposed to the intended rule. We identified visual neurons in FEF that exhibited shape selectivity. The timing of this selectivity followed visual onset but was coincident with saccade target selection. Further, we found that these neurons showed an additional increase in firing rate when a stimulus of the preferred shape was also chosen via saccade. This occurred after feature selection and was coincident with additional temporal measures of saccade endpoint selection. These findings together suggest that feature selectivity, when induced, is tantamount to target selection which is then followed by saccade endpoint selection. In this way, we can exploit feature selectivity in FEF neurons to dissociate the perceptual and motor stages of a complex visual search task.

Acknowledgement: R01-EY08890, P30-EY08126, U54-HD-083211, and Robin and Richard Patton through the E. Bronson Ingram Chair in Neuroscience 
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