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Inactivation of the central thalamus delays self-timed saccades


The central thalamus transmits corollary discharge signals for eye movement control, but its role in eye movement generation remains uncertain. Inactivation of the paralaminar part of the ventrolateral thalamus delayed the initiation of contraversive saccades, particularly during a new memory-guided saccade task that required self-triggering of the movement. The results suggest that signals through the thalamus regulate the timing of self-initiated saccades.

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Figure 1: Behavioral tasks and injection sites.
Figure 2: Data from a single experiment.
Figure 3: Summary of the effects of inactivation on saccade latency for multiple sites.


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I thank O. Hikosaka for comments on a previous version of the manuscript; M. Takada for identification of the thalamic nuclei on histological sections; S. Hirano and A. Yoshida for technical assistance; and M. Suzuki for administrative help. One monkey was provided by the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University. This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas (16015204, 17022003) and a grant for young scientists (B17700363) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology of Japan.

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Correspondence to Masaki Tanaka.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Fig. 1

Time courses of three saccade paradigms. (PDF 46 kb)

Supplementary Fig. 2

Effects of inactivation on the accuracy of saccades. (PDF 35 kb)

Supplementary Fig. 3

Effects of inactivation on the amplitude of saccades. (PDF 36 kb)

Supplementary Fig. 4

Effects of inactivation on saccade velocity. (PDF 36 kb)

Supplementary Fig. 5

Comparison of injection sites that affected saccade or smooth pursuit. (PDF 40 kb)

Supplementary Methods (PDF 20 kb)

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Tanaka, M. Inactivation of the central thalamus delays self-timed saccades. Nat Neurosci 9, 20–22 (2006).

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