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Macaque Lateral Intraparietal Area and Oculomotor Behaviors


Li, Chiang-Shan Ray (1996) Macaque Lateral Intraparietal Area and Oculomotor Behaviors. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/54y6-wq81.


Neurons in the primate lateral intraparietal area (area LIP) carry visual, saccade-related and eye position activities. The visual and saccade activities are anchored in a retinotopic framework and the overall response magnitude is modulated by eye position. It was proposed that the modulation by eye position might be the basis of a distributed coding of target locations in a head-centered space. Other recording studies demonstrated that area LIP is involved in oculomotor planning. These results overall suggest that area LIP transforms sensory information for motor functions. In this thesis I further explore the role of area LIP in processing saccadic eye movements by observing the effects of reversible inactivation of this area. Macaque monkeys were trained to do visually guided and memory saccades and a double saccade task to examine the use of eye position signal. Finally, by intermixing visual saccades with trials in which two targets were presented at opposite sides of the fixation point, I examined the behavior of visual extinction.

In chapter 2, I will show that lesion of area LIP results in increased latency of contralesional visual and memory saccades. Contralesional memory saccades are also hypometric and slower in velocity. Moreover, the impairment of memory saccades does not vary with the duration of the delay period. This suggests that the oculomotor deficits observed after inactivation of area LIP is not due to the disruption of spatial memory.

In chapter 3, I will show that lesion of area LIP does not severely affect the processing of spontaneous eye movement. However, the monkeys made fewer contralesional saccades and tended to confine their gaze to the ipsilesional field after inactivation of area LIP. On the other hand, lesion of area LIP results in extinction of the contralesional stimulus. When the initial fixation position was varied so that the retinal and spatial locations of the targets could be dissociated, it was found that the extinction behavior could best be described in a head-centered coordinate.

In chapter 4, I will show that inactivation of area LIP disrupts the use of eye position signal to compute the second movement correctly in the double saccade task. If the first saccade steps into the contralesional field, the error rate and latency of the second saccade are both increased. Furthermore, the direction of the first eye movement largely does not have any effect on the impairment of the second saccade. I will argue that this study provides important evidence that the extraretinal signal used for saccadic localization is eye position rather than a displacement vector.

In chapter 5, I will demonstrate that in parietal monkeys the eye drifts toward the lesion side at the end of the memory saccade in darkness. This result suggests that the eye position activity in the posterior parietal cortex is active in nature and subserves gaze holding.

Overall, these results further support the view that area LIP neurons encode spatial locations in a craniotopic framework and is involved in processing voluntary eye movements.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Computation and Neural Systems
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Major Option:Computation and Neural Systems
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Andersen, Richard A.
Thesis Committee:
  • Konishi, Masakazu
  • Allman, John Morgan
  • Perona, Pietro
  • Schlag, John
Defense Date:20 May 1996
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04102013-115616526
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7602
Deposited On:10 Apr 2013 21:16
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 00:08

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