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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
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"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Government Grants Promoting Cruelty to Animals

Washington University, St. Louis, MO

DORA E. ANGELAKI - Primate Testing - 2006

Grant Number: 5R01DC004260-08
Project Title: Neural Mechanisms of Vestibular Function
PI Information: PROFESSOR DORA E. ANGELAKI, [email protected] 

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
To navigate and act effectively through a complex three-dimensional (3D) environment, we must accurately estimate our own motion and orientation relative to nearby objects. Although multi-modal in nature, both the perception of self-motion and self-orientation, as well as the precise monitoring of changes in our head or gaze relative to objects of interest, require contributions from the vestibular system, which provides information about the angular and linear acceleration of the head in space. The long-term goal of these studies is to understand the thalamo-cortical processing of vestibular information, pertinent to the elucidation of the neural correlates for motion perception, spatial orientation and control of movement. As a first step in delineating these unexplored neural correlates of higher vestibular processing, we propose here to characterize pre-cortical neural pathways, focusing first on the neural processing in the two main thalamic projections from the vestibular nuclei (VN) and prepositus hypoglossi (PH) to the ventral posterior nuclei (VPN) and the intralaminar nuclei (ILN) of the thalamus. Experiments proposed here are motivated by a central hypothesis where these two vestibulo-thalamic pathways participate in two distinct functions: The VPN pathway represents the conduit of vestibular signals involved in selfmotion perception. The ILN pathway, on the other hand, provides cortical eye fields with the necessary extraretinal signals (including an efference copy of gaze changes) required to update retinal information for nonretinotopic saccades. To address the validity of these hypotheses, we propose a multi-faceted approach using multiple techniques, including single unit recording, antidromic identification of physiologically-characterized neurons, dual tracer injections, as well as reversible inactivation while animals perform behavioral tasks. The proposed experiments will test for the first time a direct link between vestibular neural activities and perception and will bridge the gap between traditional vestibular system analysis and modern, functionally-relevant, stochastic correlation analysis techniques relating neural activities with animal's behavioral choices.

Thesaurus Terms:
neural plasticity, neuroregulation, sensory discrimination, vestibular apparatus, vestibuloocular reflex
gravity, otocyst /otolith, saccade, vestibular pathway
Macaca mulatta, behavioral /social science research tag, electrophysiology

SAINT LOUIS, MO 631304899
Fiscal Year: 2006
Project Start: 01-SEP-1999
Project End: 31-AUG-2009

The Journal of Neuroscience, February 7, 2007, 27(6):1346-1355

A Reevaluation of the Inverse Dynamic Model for Eye Movements

Andrea M. Green,1 Hui Meng,2 and Dora E. Angelaki2

1Département de Physiologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1J4, and 2Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110

Animal preparation.
Four juvenile Macacca mulatta and one Macacca fascicularis monkeys were prepared for chronic recording of binocular eye movements and single-unit activities. Each animal was chronically implanted with a delrin head stabilization ring that was secured to the skull with inverted stainless steel T bolts. A delrin recording platform (consisting of a staggered matrix of holes spaced 0.8 mm apart) was stereotaxically placed inside the ring and served as a guide for electrode placement. In three of the animals, the platform was implanted with a 10° lateral/medial slant to allow bilateral access to the prepositus hypoglossi and abducens/oculomotor nerves and nuclei. Each animal was also implanted with dual eye coils on both eyes that were calibrated as explained in detail previously (Angelaki, 1998 ; Angelaki et al., 2000 ). All surgical procedures were performed under sterile conditions in accordance with institutional and National Institutes of Health guidelines.

Experimental set-up
During experiments, monkeys were seated upright in a primate chair secured inside a motion delivery system that consisted of a three-dimensional (3D) vestibular turntable mounted on a linear sled (Acutronics, Pittsburgh, PA). Binocular eye movements were measured with a three-field magnetic search coil system (16 inch cube; CNC Engineering, Seattle, WA) that was attached to the inner gimbal of the vestibular turntable. Visual targets were back-projected onto a flat screen mounted 20 cm away from the animal. A wall-mounted laser and x–y mirror galvanometer system (General Scanning, Billerica, MA) provided world-fixed targets for gaze stabilization during head/body motion. A second laser-galvanometer system was mounted on top of the vestibular turntable such that it moved with the animal and provided a head-fixed target; this enabled evaluation of neural responses to vestibular stimulation when eye movements were suppressed or cancelled (i.e., VOR cancellation tasks). The second system was also used to provide visual targets for fixation and smooth pursuit tasks.

Please email:  DORA E. ANGELAKI, [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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