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Delaying visually guided saccades by microstimulation of macaque V1: spatial properties of delay fields


Dr E. J. Tehovnik, as above.


Electrical microstimulation of macaque primary visual cortex (area V1) is known to delay the execution of saccadic eye movements made to a punctate visual target placed into the receptive field of the stimulated neurons. We examined the spatial extent of this delay effect, which we call a delay field, by placing a 0.2° visual target at various locations relative to the receptive field of the stimulated neurons and by stimulating different sites within the operculum of V1. A 100-ms train of stimulation consisting of current pulses at or less than 100 µA was delivered immediately before monkeys generated a saccadic eye movement to the visual target. The region of tissue activated was within 0.5 mm from the electrode tip. The depth of stimulation for a given site ranged from 0.9 to 2.0 mm below the cortical surface. The location of the receptive fields of the stimulated neurons ranged from 1.8 to 4.4° of eccentricity from the center of gaze. Within this range, the size of the delay field increased from 0.1 to 0.55° of visual angle. The shape of the field was roughly circular. The size of the delay field increased as the stimulation site was located further from the foveal representation of V1. These results are consistent with the finding that phosphenes evoked by electrical stimulation of human V1 are circular and increase in size as the stimulating electrode is placed more distant from the foveal representation of V1.