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Landmark-Centered Coding in Frontal Cortex Visual Responses

39 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2020 Publication Status: Review Complete

See all articles by Adrian Schütz

Adrian Schütz

Phillips Universität Marburg - Department of Neurophysics; Philipps-Universität Marburg and Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen - Center for Mind, Brain and Behavior – CMBB; Brain in Action International Research Training Program

Vishal Bharmauria

York Centre for Vision Research and VISTA: Science to Applications Program; Brain in Action International Research Training Program

Xiaogang Yan

York Centre for Vision Research and VISTA: Science to Applications Program

Hongying Wang

York Centre for Vision Research and VISTA: Science to Applications Program

Frank Bremmer

Phillips Universität Marburg - Department of Neurophysics; Brain in Action International Research Training Program; Philipps-Universität Marburg and Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen - Center for Mind, Brain and Behavior – CMBB; University of Marburg

John Douglas Crawford

Brain in Action International Research Training Program; York Centre for Vision Research and VISTA: Science to Applications Program; York University - Departments of Psychology, Biology, Kinesiology & Health Sciences

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Abstract

Visual landmarks influence spatial cognition, navigation and goal-directed behavior, but their influence on visual coding in sensorimotor systems is poorly understood. We hypothesized that visual responses in frontal cortex gaze control areas encode potential targets in an intermediate gaze-centered / landmark-centered reference frame that might depend on specific target-landmark configurations rather than a global mechanism. We tested this hypothesis by recording neural activity in the frontal eye fields (FEF) and supplementary eye fields (SEF) while head-unrestrained macaques engaged in a memory-delay gaze task. Visual response fields (the area of visual space where targets modulate activity) were tested for each neuron in the presence of a background landmark placed at one of four oblique configurations relative to the target stimulus. 102 of 312 FEF and 43 of 256 SEF neurons showed spatially tuned response fields in this task. We then fit these data against a mathematical continuum between a gaze-centered model and a landmark-centered model. When we pooled data across the entire dataset for each neuron, our response field fits did not deviate significantly from the gaze-centered model. However, when we fit response fields separately for each target-landmark configuration, the best fits shifted (mean 37% / 40%) toward landmark-centered coding in FEF / SEF respectively. This confirmed an intermediate gaze / landmark-centered mechanism dependent on local (configuration-dependent) interactions. Overall, these data show that external landmarks influence prefrontal visual responses, likely helping to stabilize gaze goals in the presence of variable eye and head orientations.

Keywords: Landmark, Frontal Cortex, Gaze system, Allocentric, Egocentric, Sensory responses

Suggested Citation

Schütz, Adrian and Bharmauria, Vishal and Yan, Xiaogang and Wang, Hongying and Bremmer, Frank and Crawford, John Douglas, Landmark-Centered Coding in Frontal Cortex Visual Responses. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3733983 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3733983
This version of the paper has not been formally peer reviewed.

Adrian Schütz

Phillips Universität Marburg - Department of Neurophysics ( email )

Philipps-Universität Marburg and Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen - Center for Mind, Brain and Behavior – CMBB ( email )

Brain in Action International Research Training Program ( email )

Vishal Bharmauria (Contact Author)

York Centre for Vision Research and VISTA: Science to Applications Program ( email )

Toronto
Canada

Brain in Action International Research Training Program ( email )

Xiaogang Yan

York Centre for Vision Research and VISTA: Science to Applications Program

No Address Available

Hongying Wang

York Centre for Vision Research and VISTA: Science to Applications Program

Frank Bremmer

Phillips Universität Marburg - Department of Neurophysics ( email )

Brain in Action International Research Training Program ( email )

Philipps-Universität Marburg and Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen - Center for Mind, Brain and Behavior – CMBB ( email )

University of Marburg ( email )

Universitätsstrasse 24
D-35032 Marburg, D-35032
Germany

John Douglas Crawford

Brain in Action International Research Training Program ( email )

York Centre for Vision Research and VISTA: Science to Applications Program ( email )

York University - Departments of Psychology, Biology, Kinesiology & Health Sciences ( email )

Toronto
Canada

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