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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Government Grants Promoting Cruelty to Animals

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

PETER H. SCHILLER - Primate Testing - 2006

See Original Grant Application - PDF

Grant Number: 5R01EY008502-14
Project Title: Neural Control of Visually Guided Eye Movements
PI Information: PROFESSOR AND DIRECTOR PETER H. SCHILLER, phschill@mit.edu 

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
The aim of the proposed research is to determine how three cortical areas in the primate contribute to the generation of visually guided saccadic eye movements: the frontal eye fields, the medial eye fields and the lateral intraparietal sulcus. The experiments we propose are designed to assess: (1) How the signals from the cortex reach the brainstem oculomotor centers, (2) how excitatory and inhibitory circuits in these three areas mediate eye-movement control, and (3) the extent to which the three areas are also involved in eye/hand coordination. Three sets of experiments are planned: Experiment 1 will determine whether in the intact animal saccadic eye-movement generation is achieved through two parallel channels, the anterior and the posterior, as we had hypothesized in our earlier long-term lesion studies. To determine whether these two pathways are functional in the intact animal, the effects of electrical stimulation of the frontal eye fields and medial eye fields will be studied using short-term unilateral and bilateral reversible inactivation of the superior colliculus. Experiment 2 will assess the role excitatory and inhibitory neuronal circuits play in the frontal eye fields, the medial eye fields and the lateral intraparietal sulcus in eye movement control. To accomplish this, the generation of eye movements will be studied in a series of behavioral tasks when these areas are infused with briefly acting agonists and antagonists of glutamate and GABA. Experiment 3 will determine the extent to which these three areas contribute to eye/hand coordination in addition to saccadic eye-movement generation. Performance on eye/hand coordination tasks will be assessed before, during and after local infusions of reversible blocking agents. The results obtained from the proposed experiments should have significant implications for the treatment of eye-movement disorders. If in the intact organism the anterior and posterior streams, as had been proposed in our earlier work, are indeed functional, as to be determined in the first set of experiments in this series, more effective treatment routines can be devised than if all cortical commands to move the eyes traverse through the superior colliculus.

Thesaurus Terms:
eye movement, gamma aminobutyrate, limb movement, neural information processing, neuroregulation, saccade, visual pathway
brain electrical activity, frontal lobe /cortex, motor neuron, neuroanatomy, oculomotor nerve, sensorimotor system, superior colliculus, visual field
Macaca mulatta, electrostimulus, experimental brain lesion, microelectrode, single cell analysis

Institution: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
77 MASSACHUSETTS AVE
CAMBRIDGE, MA 02139
Fiscal Year: 2006
Department: CENTER FOR CANCER RESEARCH
Project Start: 01-JAN-1991
Project End: 31-MAR-2008
ICD: NATIONAL EYE INSTITUTE
IRG: CVP 

Volume 16, Number 22, Issue of November 15, 1996 pp. 7376-7389
Copyright 1996 Society for Neuroscience

Contextual Modulation in Primary Visual Cortex

Karl Zipser1, Victor A. F. Lamme2, and Peter H. Schiller1

1 The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, and 2 Graduate School of Neurosciences, Department of Medical Physics, AMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and The Netherlands Ophthalmic Research Institute, 1100 AC Amsterdam, The Netherlands

MATERIALS AND METHODS
Experiments were performed on four male Macaca mulatta, each weighing 8-10 kg. Before surgery, monkeys were trained to jump into their primate chairs and were habituated to the laboratory environment. Subsequently, each animal underwent surgical procedures for implantation of a stainless steel cranial post for fixing the position of the head. In the same operation, we implanted the given animal with a scleral coil for monitoring eye position. All surgical procedures were performed using sterile techniques, with monkeys under deep pentobarbital anesthesia; all experimental procedures were performed in accordance with National Institutes of Health guidelines.

After recovery from surgery, monkeys were water-deprived and brought to the laboratory for training. We used a PDP-11/37 computer to regulate and monitor the monkey's behavioral tasks, to collect behavioral and neurophysiological data, and to signal an IBM PC for control of visual stimulation. With its head restrained in the primate chair facing a computer graphics monitor, each monkey was trained to fixate a small luminous spot on the screen and then to make a saccadic eye movement to a luminous target stimulus that appeared in a random position when the fixation spot was extinguished. Analog x and y eye position signals, measured using the scleral coil (Robinson, 1963 ), were collected at 200 Hz and digitized with a precision of 0.01 of visual angle. For maintaining fixation and then making the correct saccades, the monkey was rewarded automatically with a drop of apple juice. During training and recording, animals drank a total of 300-500 ml of juice (during 1500 or more trials) per session. Additional rewards of peanuts and fresh fruit were provided once the animals returned to their home cages at the end of the day.   

Please email: PETER H. SCHILLER, phschill@mit.edu to protest the inhumane use of animals in this experiment. We would also love to know about your efforts with this cause: saen@saenonline.org

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Rats, mice, birds, amphibians and other animals have been excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore research facility reports do not include these animals. As a result of this situation, a blank report, or one with few animals listed, does not mean that a facility has not performed experiments on non-reportable animals. A blank form does mean that the facility in question has not used covered animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs, sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90% of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals used at research facilities are not even counted.

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