Proceedings of The Physiological Society

University of Cambridge (2004) J Physiol 555P, C164


A Poisson decoder performs near-optimally at extracting motion signals from the temporally structured onset transients of MT neurons

Simon R. Schultz*† and J. Anthony Movshon *

* Center for Neural Science, New York University, NY, USA and †Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, UCL, London, UK

Neurons in cortical area MT respond to step changes in visual motion with a transient pulse of high firing rate activity before settling down to their sustained level of response (Lisberger & Movshon 1999). These onset transients, unlike the sustained response, show fine-grained temporal structure.

To investigate MT transient dynamics, we recorded extracellularly from area MT of anaesthetised macaque monkeys using methods described in detail in (Kohn & Movshon, 2003). After induction with Ketamine HCl (10 mg kg-1), anaesthesia was continued during surgery with 1.5-3.5 % isoflurane in a 98 % O2/2 % CO2 mixture. Experiments typically lasted 4-5 days, during which anaesthesia and neuromuscular blockade were maintained with sufentanil citrate (4-8

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements