Pulvinar inactivation disrupts selection of movement plans.

Article date: 2010/7/16

PubMed ID: 2132873

Journal name: The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience (ISSN: 1529-2401)

DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0953-10.2010


The coordinated movement of the eyes and hands under visual guidance is an essential part of goal-directed behavior. Several cortical areas known to be involved in this process exchange projections with the dorsal aspect of the thalamic pulvinar nucleus, suggesting that this structure may play a central role in visuomotor behavior. Here, we used reversible inactivation to investigate the role of the dorsal pulvinar in the selection and execution of visually guided manual and saccadic eye movements in macaque monkeys. We found that unilateral pulvinar inactivation resulted in a spatial neglect syndrome accompanied by visuomotor deficits including optic ataxia during visually guided limb movements. Monkeys were severely disrupted in their visually guided behavior regarding space contralateral to the side of the injection in several domains, including the following: (1) target selection in both manual and oculomotor tasks, (2) limb usage in a manual retrieval task, and (3) spontaneous visual exploration. In addition, saccades into the ipsilesional field had abnormally short latencies and tended to overshoot their mark. None of the deficits could be explained by a visual field defect or primary motor deficit. These findings highlight the importance of the dorsal aspect of the pulvinar nucleus as a critical hub for spatial attention and selection of visually guided actions.

Author List: Wilke Melanie, Turchi Janita, Smith Katy, Mishkin Mortimer, Leopold David A

Publication Types: Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Substances mentioned in the article: GABA Agonists; Isoxazoles; Muscimol; gaboxadol;

Mesh terms: Animals; Behavior, Animal; Brain Mapping; Decision Making/drug effects; Electrophysiology; Eye Movements/drug effects; Female; GABA Agonists/pharmacology; Isoxazoles/pharmacology; Macaca mulatta; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Male; Motor Activity/drug effects; Muscimol/pharmacology; Neurons/drug effects; Pulvinar/drug effects; Visual Fields;

Citations: - 2286229

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