, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 49-60

Saccadic motor planning by integrating visual information and pre-information on neural dynamic fields

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Abstract

A functional model of target selection in the saccadic system is presented, incorporating elements of visual processing, motor planning, and motor control. We address the integration of visual information with pre-information. which is provided by manipulating the probability that a target appears at a certain location. This integration is achieved within a dynamic representation of planned eye movement which is modeled through distributions of activation on a topographic field. Visual input evokes activation, which is also constrained by lateral interaction within the field and by preshaping input representing pre-information. The model describes target selection observable in paradigms in which visual goals are presented at more than one location. Specifically, we model the transition from averaging, where endpoints of first saccades fall between two visual target locations, to decision making, where endpoints of first saccades fall accurately onto one of two simultaneously presented visual targets. We make predictions about how metrical biases of first saccades are induced by pre-information about target locations acquired by learning. When coupled to a motor control stage, activation dynamics on the planning level contribute to stabilizing gaze under fixation conditions. The neurophysiological relevance of our functional model is discussed.