Response latency of macaque area MT/V5 neurons and its relationship to stimulus parameters

S E Raiguel, D K Xiao, V L Marcar, G A Orban

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97 Citations (Scopus)


A total of 310 MT/V5 single cells were tested in anesthetized, paralyzed macaque monkeys with moving random-dot stimuli. At optimum stimulus parameters, latencies ranged from 35 to 325 ms with a mean of 87 +/- 45 (SD) ms. By examining the relationship between latency and response levels, stimulus parameters, and stimulus selectivities, we attempted to isolate the contributions of these factors to latency and to identify delays representing intervening synapses (circuitry) and signal processing (flow of information through that circuitry). First, the relationship between stimulus parameters and latency was investigated by varying stimulus speed and direction for individual cells. Resulting changes in latencies were explainable in terms of response levels corresponding to how closely the actual stimulus matched the preferred stimulus of the cell. Second, the relationship between stimulus selectivity and latency across the population of cells was examined using the optimum speed and direction of each neuron. A weak tendency for cells tuned for slow speeds to have longer latencies was explainable by lower response rates among slower-tuned neurons. In contrast, sharper direction tuning was significantly associated with short latencies even after taking response rate into account, (P = 0.002, ANCOVA). Accordingly, even the first 10 ms of the population response fully demonstrates direction tuning. A third study, which examined the relationship between antagonistic surrounds and latency, revealed a significant association between the strength of the surround and the latency that was independent of response levels (P < 0.002, ANCOVA). Neurons having strong surrounds exhibited latencies averaging 20 ms longer than those with little or no surround influence, suggesting that neurons with surrounds represent a later stage in processing with one or more intervening synapses. The laminar distribution of latencies closely followed the average surround antagonism in each layer, increasing with distance from input layer IV but precisely mirroring response levels, which were highest near the input layer and gradually decreased with distance from input layer IV. Layer II proved the exception with unexpectedly shorter latencies (P < 0.02, ANOVA) yet showing only modest response levels. The short latency and lack of strong direction tuning in layer II is consistent with input from the superior colliculus. Finally, experiments with static stimuli showed that latency does not vary with response rate for such stimuli, suggesting a fundamentally different mode of processing than that for a moving stimulus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1944-1956
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999




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