August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
From the fovea to the periphery and back: mechanisms of trans-saccadic visual information transfer in the superior colliculus
Author Affiliations
  • Tong Zhang
  • Ziad Hafed
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 4601. doi:
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      Tong Zhang, Ziad Hafed; From the fovea to the periphery and back: mechanisms of trans-saccadic visual information transfer in the superior colliculus. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):4601.

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

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The superior colliculus (SC) possesses visual machinery supporting both foveal analysis and peripheral object detection. This structure also emits movement-related discharge that is relayed to both the downstream oculomotor control network and upstream cortical areas. This places the SC in an ideal position to both control orienting responses as well as bridge periods of sensory uncertainty associated with rapid eyeball rotations. Yet, the mechanisms with which foveal state influences peripheral visual sensitivity, or with which peripheral visual information is trans-saccadically relayed to foveal SC visual representations, are not fully understood. Here we will first describe how foveal SC state can have a strong impact on peripheral SC visual sensitivity. Using real-time gaze-contingent image control of instantaneous foveal eye position error, we will demonstrate how a foveal error of only 1-2 min arc is sufficient to not only drive microsaccades, but also strongly influence peripheral SC visual responses and orienting response efficiency. We will then show how SC movement-related discharge is itself not a pure neuronal movement command, but instead represents the sensory state of the periphery at the time of saccades. Thus, SC “motor” bursts not only represent where gaze will shift towards, but they also provide a peripheral preview of the visual appearance of saccade targets. Once these targets are foveated, our final set of results will demonstrate how foveal SC visual representations are predictively sensitive to pre-saccadic peripheral target appearance. Thus, the SC encompasses a full active vision loop, from the fovea to the periphery and back.


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