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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

Stanford University, Stanford, CA

WILLIAM T. NEWSOME - Primate Testing - 2006

Grant Number: 5R01EY005603-22
Project Title: Cortical Processing of Visual Motion
PI Information: PROFESSOR WILLIAM T. NEWSOME, [email protected]

The long-term goal of this research is to understand the neural mechanisms underlying simple forms of visually based cognition, including visually based decision-making in particular. The projects will focus on a network of high-level brain structures that appears to translate perception of the visual world into plans for action.

Prior studies indicate that this network includes cortical areas of the parietal and frontal lobes as well as midbrain structures such as the superior colliculus. A similar network of structures is present in humans, and the proposed research is thus likely to contribute directly to our developing knowledge of human vision, cognition, and their clinical disorders. Three specific aims will be pursued during the coming grant period:

1. Electrical micro-stimulation techniques will be employed to test rigorously the causal role played by each candidate neural structure in visually-based decision making.

2. Combined stimulation and recording techniques will be employed to test specific hypotheses concerning the functional circuitry that connects these areas and the information that flows between them.

3. Electrophysiological techniques will be employed to study identify and study the neural mechanisms that compute the "subjective value" that an organism places on alternative actions.

Psychological and economic studies have shown that perceived value exerts an enormous influence on decision making. Together the proposed experiments will provide considerable impetus toward understanding the neural mechanisms underlying a simple form of cognition.

The ultimate health-related value of this work will follow from an understanding of the biological basis of mental function. Neurological and psychiatric diseases that affect mental function take a massive toll on the health and well-being of our citizenry. These diseases are particularly insidious because they slowly rob the afflicted person of normal cognitive abilities - the very essence of personal identity.

Understanding how brain activity gives rise to mental function in normal subjects will undoubtedly provide a deeper understanding of what goes wrong in various disease processes, and suggest useful therapeutic approaches for such diseases.

Thesaurus Terms:
cognition, motion perception, neural information processing, vision
biological signal transduction, decision making, frontal lobe /cortex, neuron
Macaca, behavior test, electrophysiology

Fiscal Year: 2006
Project Start: 01-JAN-1985
Project End: 31-JUL-2008

Journal of Vision

Volume 5, Number 7, Article 1, Pages 603-621 doi:10.1167/5.7.1 ISSN 1534-7362

Cone signal interactions in direction-selective neurons in the middle temporal visual area (MT)

Crista L. Barberini, Marlene R. Cohen, Brian A. Wandell, William T. Newsome

We conducted experiments in two adult rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta, both female, weight 710 kg). Before the experiments, we surgically implanted each animal with a head-holding device (Evarts, 1968), a scleral search coil for measuring eye movements (Judge, Richmond, & Chu, 1980), and a recording cylinder (Crist Instruments, Damascus, MD) that provided access to MT. During experiments, the animals sat in a primate chair with their heads restrained, facing a CRT display.

The animals performed a fixation or discrimination task for liquid rewards while visual stimuli were presented within the receptive field of a single MT neuron. All surgical and behavioral procedures conformed to guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Institutes of Health) in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (1996).

The Journal of Neuroscience, July 26, 2006, 26(30):7779-7790; doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5052-05.2006


Local Field Potential in Cortical Area MT: Stimulus Tuning and Behavioral Correlations

Jing Liu and William T. Newsome

Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5125

Monkey maintenance and surgery. We conducted extracellular recordings in three hemispheres of two macaque monkeys (Macacca mulatta), one male and one female. Before the experiments, the monkeys were surgically implanted with a head-holding device and recording cylinder (Crist Instruments, Hagerstown, MD) and a scleral search coil for monitoring eye position.

All implanted devices were magnetic resonance imaging compatible. Surgical, animal care, and experimental procedures conformed to guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health and were approved in advance by the Stanford University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Visual stimuli. During each experimental session, the monkey was seated in a primate chair with its head fixed. The monkey viewed visual stimuli on a cathode ray tube monitor at a distance of 57 cm. Visual stimuli were drawn with a VSG graphics board (Cambridge Research Systems, Kent, UK); the frame rate of the monitor was 160 Hz.

Please email: WILLIAM T. NEWSOME, [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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