Smith - Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

Home Page
About SAEN
Articles and Reports
Contact Us
Events and Campaigns
Fact Sheets
Financial Information
How You Can Help
Make a Donation, Please!
Media Coverage
Picture Archive
Press Releases
Resources and Links
Grass Roots Org. List

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

Government Grants Promoting Cruelty to Animals

Smith - Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, CA

EDWARD L. KELLER - Primate Testing - 2006

Grant Number: 2R01EY006860-21
Project Title: Studies of the Oculomotor Systems
PI Information: SENIOR SCIENTIST EDWARD L. KELLER,  [email protected] 

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
Unlike simple reactive saccades, directing the eyes to a target most appropriate in a given situation requires substantial cognitive processing. Sensory cues present in the environment need to be evaluated in terms of symbolic meanings associated with them. These then have to be translated so that the saccade goal is chosen among alternatives available at the moment.

Identifying neural underpinnings of these complex processes is essential for advancing our knowledge of how the brain makes choices and how cognitive information is utilized in oculomotor behavior. Equally important, this knowledge will provide a better understanding such abnormal behaviors as oculomotor apraxia in which reflexive visually-guided saccades are preserved while saccades prompted by verbal commands are impaired and frontal lobe dysfunction in which the inability to make choice decisions is an important feature.

Both the latter disorders are of public health concern. In this project, we will collect neural data while saccades are generated as a choice response based on the pre-trained associations between color and spatial location: Animals will attend to visual stimuli of different colors delivered at the fovea and respond with an eye movement to a unique location associated with each color.

Experiments are designed to achieve the following specific aims: 1) To characterize neural signals in the superior colliculus (SC) and the cortical frontal eye fields (FEF) related to saccadic choice responses by recording from single neurons. Whether these signals are indeed necessary for saccadic choice responses will be determined by making reversible chemical lesions in the 2 structures. More specifically, by selectively inactivating the foveal portion of the FEF, we will test the hypothesis that the FEF is the place where sensory cue information given at the fovea is translated into the activation of neurons representing a target in the periphery.

2) To identify the source of cue-driven signals observed in the caudal SC. Given the fact that the FEF has abundant connections to this region, we will test the hypothesis that the FEF is the source of cognitive signals recorded in the SC. Reversible lesions will be made in FEF as a SC neuron with cue-driven signals is being recorded. Changes in the activation of the SC during choice response would support this hypothesis.

3) To examine the temporal relationship between the activities in pairs of FEF cells that code for the target location and others that code for non-target locations, while a choice decision is being made. This data will help to differentiate between 2 current models that attempt to explain the neural mechanisms underlying choice response.

Thesaurus Terms:
neural information processing, neurophysiology, neuroregulation, saccade, superior colliculus, visual pathway, visual perception brain electrical activity, extraocular muscle, motion perception, neural inhibition, neural initiation, neuroanatomy, sensorimotor system, tegmentum, visual feedback, visual field, visual stimulus Macaca mulatta, behavioral /social science research tag, computer data analysis, electrophysiology

Fiscal Year: 2006
Project Start: 01-MAY-1986
Project End: 31-MAR-2009

J Neurophysiol 91: 890-900, 2004. First published October 15, 2003; doi:10.1152/jn.00818.2003 0022-3077/04 $5.00

Properties of Saccadic Responses in Monkey When Multiple Competing Visual Stimuli Are Present

Kuniharu Arai, Robert M. McPeek and Edward L. Keller
The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, California 94115

Submitted 20 August 2003; accepted in final form 10 October 2003


Two male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) weighing between 4 and 7 kg were used in this study. All experimental protocols were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the California Pacific Medical Center and complied with the guidelines of the Public Health Service policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

A scleral eye coil and a head-holder system were implanted under isoflurane anesthesia and aseptic surgical conditions. Anesthesia was induced with an intramuscular injection of ketamine. Heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and body temperature were monitored for the duration of the surgery. A coil made of four turns of Teflon-coated stainless steel wire was implanted under the conjunctiva of one eye using the procedure described by Fuchs and Robinson (1966 ), as modified by Judge et al. (1980 ). At the completion of the surgery, animals were returned to their home cages. Antibiotics (Cefazolin) and analgesics (Buprenex) were administered as needed during the recovery period under the direction of a veterinarian.

Behavioral procedures
Testing was performed in a dimly illuminated room. Data collection and storage were controlled by a custom real-time program running on a PC. Eye position and velocity were sampled at 1 kHz and digitally stored on disc. A Macintosh computer, which was interfaced with the PC, generated the visual displays using software constructed using the Video Toolbox library (Pelli 1997 ). Visual stimuli were presented on a 29-inch color cathode ray tube (Viewsonic GA29) in synchronization with the monitor's vertical refresh. The monitor had a spatial resolution of 800 by 600 pixels and a noninterlaced refresh rate of 75 Hz. The monitor was positioned 33 cm in front of the monkey and allowed stimuli to be presented in a field of view of approximately 32 along the horizontal meridian and 30 along the vertical meridian.

The monkeys were seated in a primate chair with their heads restrained for the duration of the testing sessions. They executed behavioral tasks for liquid reward and were allowed to work to satiation. Records of each animal's weight and health status were kept, and supplemental water was given as necessary. The animals typically worked for 5 days and were allowed controlled access to water on weekends.

Please email: EDWARD L. KELLER,  [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]

Return to Grants
Return to Smith - Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, CA
Return to Facility Reports and Information
Return to Resources and Links

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.

We welcome your comments and questions

This site is hosted and maintained by:
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Thank you for visiting
Since date.gif (991 bytes)