Browse/search for people

Publication - Dr Casimir Ludwig

    Trajectory curvature in saccade sequences

    spatiotopic influences vs. residual motor activity


    Megardon, G, Ludwig, C & Sumner, P, 2017, ‘Trajectory curvature in saccade sequences: spatiotopic influences vs. residual motor activity’. Journal of Neurophysiology, vol 118., pp. 1310-1320


    When decisions drive saccadic eye movements, traces of the decision process can be inferred from the movement trajectories. For example, saccades can curve away from distractor stimuli, which was thought to reflect cortical inhibition biasing activity in the superior colliculus. Recent neurophysiological work does not support this theory, and two recent models have replaced top-down inhibition with lateral interactions in the superior colliculus or neural fatigue in the brainstem saccadic burst generator. All current models operate in retinotopic coordinates and are based on single saccade paradigms. To extend these models to sequences of saccades, we assessed whether and how saccade curvature depends on previously fixated locations and the direction of previous saccades. With a two-saccade paradigm, we first demonstrated that second saccades curved away from the initial fixation stimulus. Furthermore, by varying the time from fixation offset and the intersaccadic duration, we distinguished the extent of curvature originating from the spatiotopic representation of the previous fixation location or residual motor activity of the previous saccade. Results suggest that both factors drive curvature, and we discuss how these effects could be implemented in current models. In particular, we propose that the collicular retinotopic maps receive an excitatory spatiotopic update from the lateral interparial region.

    Full details in the University publications repository