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Hall, Nathan (2016) SHORT WAVELENGTH CONE ACTIVITY TO AND THROUGH THE SUPERIOR COLLICULUS. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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A key structure for directing saccadic eye movements is the superior colliculus (SC). The SC is thought to be unresponsive to stimuli that activate only short wavelength sensitive cones (S-cones) in the retina. The apparent lack of S-cone input to the SC was recognized as an opportunity to test SC function. The assumption that S-cone stimuli are invisible to the SC has been used in numerous human clinical and psychophysical studies. The idea is that visually guided behavior dependent on the SC should be impaired when S-cone stimuli are used. Behavioral impairment to S-cone stimuli is used to infer the role of the SC in a given behavior. The goal here was to directly test this assumption by recording from single neurons in macaque SC. This hypothesis was tested in three steps. First, the perceptual reports of monkeys were used to psychophysically calibrate stimuli that activate only S-cones. Second, individual SC neurons were tested for visual sensitivity to S-cone stimuli. Finally, express saccades, a behavior known to depend on the SC, were examined physiologically and behaviorally. Both neural activity and SC-dependent behavior are present to S-cone stimuli and depend on the amount of S-cone contrast. These results demonstrate that the SC receives S-cone input, and outputs S-cone dependent behavioral commands. Together the data indicate that S-cone stimuli cannot be used to diagnose SC involvement in behavior.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hall, Nathannjh5@pitt.eduNJH5
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairColby,
Committee MemberDaniel, Simons
Committee MemberSommer, Marc
Committee MemberCohen, Marlene
Committee MemberSmith, Matthew
Committee MemberGandhi, Neeraj
Date: 6 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 March 2016
Approval Date: 6 June 2016
Submission Date: 28 March 2016
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 130
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Neuroscience
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: S-cone SC Macaque Express Saccade
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2016 16:06
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 05:15


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