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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: 5R01EY012814-08
Project Title: Neural Organization and Plasticity of the VOR
PI Information: PROFESSOR DORA E. ANGELAKI,  [email protected] 

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
Vestibulo-ocular reflexes are essential components in the perception and control of spatial orientation. They are also important for the perception of the visual world, as well as visually-guided behavior, since we view the world from a constantly shifting platform and certain visual mechanisms function optimally only if the images on the retina are relatively stable. As we go about our everyday activities, visual and vestibular mechanisms help to stabilize our gaze on objects of interest, by generating eye movements that offset our head movements. The traditional approach emphasized mechanisms that deal with rotational disturbances. More recently, however, it has become clear that a separate class of vestibulo-ocular reflexes exists (Translational VORs or TVORs) that represent a phylogenetically recent acquisition in the evolutionary tree and which appear to have evolved in parallel with foveal vision, vergence eye movements and stereopsis. This proposal is a competitive renewal to test specific hypotheses about how sensory information is centrally processed in order to create motor commands for the TVOR. We propose novel behavioral experiments aiming at understanding specific functional hypotheses about the TVOR, as well as neurophysiological studies to understand the yet unknown neural processing. Electrophysiological data will be closely accompanied with theoretical modeling in order to delineate the vestibulo-ocular computations that underlie the organization of the complex oculomotor responses during translation. Although motivated by fundamental basic science issues, the results of this effort will provide a basis for understanding clinical deficits related to otolith system pathology and for the development of clinical tests of otolith and vestibulocerebellar function.

Thesaurus Terms:
head movement, neural information processing, neural plasticity, neuroanatomy, vestibuloocular reflex, visual pathway
afferent nerve, brain electrical activity, cerebellar Purkinje cell, cue, fovea centralis retinae, neurophysiology, smooth pursuit eye movement, visual field
Macaca mulatta, behavioral /social science research tag, vision test

SAINT LOUIS, MO 631304899
Fiscal Year: 2006
Project Start: 01-JUL-1999
Project End: 30-JUN-2008

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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