Chris Eliasmith, Director of the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience, received the prestigious John C. Polanyi Award and is also an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.
Cortical Interactions in the Oculomotor System
M. Fallah (York University)
Previous neurophysiological studies have demonstrated that saccade curvatures are the result of excitatory and competitive interactions between potential saccade goals in the intermediate layers of the superior colliculus (SCi) and frontal eye field (FEF), whereby the resulting saccade curvature is proportional to the level of unresolved activity encoding a competing saccade vector. This suggests that the magnitudes of saccade curvature vary continuously along a gradient of oculomotor excitation and inhibition. Given that top-down factors like task relevance are encoded by the visuomotor neurons of the oculomotor system (reviewed by Fecteau & Munoz, 2006), this predicts a functional relationship between saccade curvature and cortical visual processing. I will be presenting a series of studies that investigates the featural and temporal factors affecting saccadic encoding, as measured by saccade curvatures. These studies provide increasing evidence that visual processing can be read out of saccade metrics.
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