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Government Grants Promoting Cruelty to Animals

Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA

THOMAS D. ALBRIGHT - Primate Testing - 2006

Grant Number: 5R01EY007605-17
Project Title: Motion and Form Processing in Extrastriate Visual Cortex
PI Information:  PROFESSOR THOMAS D. ALBRIGHT  [email protected]

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
Cortical processing of visual motion has emerged as a model system for studying the relations between neural activity and perception. Knowledge of cortical processing stages, relevant perceptual phenomena and computational strategies for motion processing is now sufficiently well established to permit facile exploration of their interrelations.

A series of coordinated neurophysiological and psychophysical experiments has been designed with this aim. This project will initially focus on cortical visual area MT. Emphasis will be placed upon obtaining evidence for direct links between neural and perceptual eye through neurophysiological recording in conscious behaving animals.

Motion detection in the presence of visual noise can be markedly enhanced by attentional tracking. The engagement of attention-based motion detection is tied to behavioral goals, and is likely to play a significant role in normal visual perception. Little is currently known of its neural basis. Coordinated psychophysical and neurophysiological experiments have been designed to identify neural structure events that underlie this perceptual phenomenon.

The long-term goal of this project is to contribute to the understanding of biological substrates of visual perception and visually-guided behavior. Information obtained will ultimately aid in the treatment prevention of neurologic and ophthalmic disorders of vision caused by trauma, disease and developmental defects. The aims are pertinent to a variety of clinical applications including the development of visual prostheses and treatment programs for perceptual deficits.

Thesaurus Terms:
color vision, form /pattern perception, motion perception, neural information processing, neurophysiology, visual cortex, visual perception attention, brain electrical activity, cue, psychophysics, visual feedback, visual pathway, visual stimulus, visual threshold Macaca mulatta, behavioral /social science research tag, clinical research, electrophysiology, histology, human subject, neuropsychological test, vision test

Fiscal Year: 2006
Project Start: 01-APR-1988
Project End: 31-JUL-2007
J Neurophysiol 95: 255-270, 2006. First published September 28, 2005; doi:10.1152/jn.00750.2005 0022-3077/06 $8.00

Adaptation in Macaque MT Reduces Perceived Speed and Improves Speed Discrimination

Bart Krekelberg1, Richard J. A. van Wezel2 and Thomas D. Albright1
1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Systems Neurobiology Laboratories, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California; and 2Helmholtz Institute, Functional Neurobiology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Submitted 15 July 2005; accepted in final form 20 September 2005

Surgical preparation
The surgical procedures have been described in detail elsewhere (Dobkins and Albright 1994 ). In short, a head post and a recording cylinder were affixed to the skull using stainless steel rails, screws, and dental acrylic (monkey M) or CILUX screws and dental acrylic (monkey S). Recording chambers were placed vertically above the anatomical location of area MT as determined from structural MR scans (typically 4 mm posterior to the interaural plane and 17 mm lateral to the midsagittal plane) to allow for a dorso-ventral electrode trajectory. After surgical recovery and attainment of criterion performance on the visual fixation task, a craniotomy was performed to allow for electrode passage into area MT. All surgical procedures were conducted under sterile conditions using isoflurane anesthesia.

Visual stimulation
All visual stimuli were generated with in-house OpenGL software using a high-resolution graphics display controller (Quadro Pro Graphics card, 1,024 x 768 pixels, 8 bits/pixel) operating in a Pentium class computer. In the experiments with monkey subjects, stimuli were displayed on a 21" monitor (Sony GDM-2000TC; 75 Hz, noninterlaced).

Monkeys were seated in a standard primate chair (Crist Instruments, Germantown, MD) with the head post rigidly supported by the chair frame. Eye position was sampled at 60 Hz using an infrared video-based system (IScan, Burlington, MA), and the eye position data were monitored and recorded with the CORTEX program (Laboratory of Neuropsychology, NIMH;, which was also used to implement the behavioral paradigm and to control stimulus presentation.

Please email Thomas D. Albright at [email protected] to protest the inhumane use of animals in this experiment. We would also love to know about your efforts with this cause: [email protected]

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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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