One of the major functions of the brain, and probably the original function of all nervous systems, is to produce movement in response to sensory stimulation. In recent years one case of such sensory-motor function, the visual initiation of eye movements, has been studied extensively. Much of this work has centered on the most obvious candidate for visual-motor guidance, the superior colliculus. There has long not been any doubt that the superior colliculus is involved in vision and eye movement-the strucÂ ture receives direct projections from the retina and over a century ago stimulation of the collicuius was shown to produce eye movements (AdaÂ mlik 1870). But it has only recently been possible to study the relation of single cell activity within this structure to both movement and vision. This cellular approach, along with new anatomical, physiological, and behavioral methods, has enabled the investigation of the machinery whereby the visual stimulus initiates motor movement. It is these advances that we concentrate on in this review. We emphasize the primate superior colliculus because most of the work relating to movement has been done in the rhesus monkey, Macaca mulatta. At the same time we draw on work done on
Annual Review of Neuroscience – Annual Reviews
Published: Mar 1, 1980
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