Dissonant representations of visual space in prefrontal cortex during eye movements
Postdoc, Moore Lab, Stanford
A hallmark of vision in humans and other primates is that it involves a constant redirection of gaze which is largely achieved by saccadic eye movements. Although such movements lead to frequent and substantial displacements of the retinal image, these displacements are not perceived. The neural basis of this illusion remains unknown. We used local field potentials (LFPs) and spikes to investigate representations of visual space in prefrontal cortex and the dynamics of those representations during eye movements. Spatial information contained in LFPs of the frontal eye field (FEF) was differentially distributed across frequencies, with a majority of that information being carried in alpha and high-gamma bands and minimal signal in the low-gamma band. During fixation, spatial information from alpha and high-gamma bands and spiking activity was robust across cortical layers. Receptive fields (RFs) derived from alpha and high-gamma bands were retinocentrically organized, and they were spatially correlated both with each other and with spiking RFs. However, alpha and high-gamma RFs probed before eye movements were dissociated. Whereas high-gamma and spiking RFs immediately converged toward the movement goal, alpha RFs remained largely unchanged during the initial probe response, but they converged later. These observations reveal possible mechanisms of dynamic spatial representations that underlie visual perception during eye movements.