Anatomy and Physiology of the Primate Interstitial Nucleus of Cajal. II. Discharge Pattern of Single Efferent Fibers
Y. Dalezios1, 2,C. A. Scudder3,S. M. Highstein4, andA. K. Moschovakis1, 2
1 Department Basic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Crete, Greece 71110; 2 Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Crete, Greece 71110; 3 Eye and Ear Institute, Pittsburgh University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213; and 4 Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri 63110
Single efferent fibers of the interstitial nucleus of Cajal (NIC) were characterized physiologically and injected with biocytin in alert behaving monkeys. Quantitative analysis demonstrated that their discharge encodes a constellation of oculomotor variables. Tonic and phasic signals were related to vertical (up or down) eye position and saccades, respectively. Depending on how they encoded eye position, saccade velocity, saccade size, saccade duration, and smooth-pursuit eye velocity, fibers were characterized as regular or irregular, bi- or unidirectionally modulated, more or less sensitive, and reliable or unreliable. Further, fibers that did not burst for saccades (tonic) and fibers the eye-position and saccade-related signals of which increased in the same (in-phase) or in the opposite (anti-phase) directions were encountered. A continuum of discharge properties was the rule. We conclude that NIC efferent fibers send a combination of eye-position, saccade-, and smooth-pursuit-related signals, mixed in proportions that differ for different fibers, to targets of the vertical neural integrator such as extraocular motoneurons.
The Journal of Neurophysiology Vol. 80 No. 6 December 1998, pp. 3100-3111. ©1998 by the American Physiological Society.