Spatio-temporal response properties of local field potentials in the primate superior colliculus

Takuro Ikeda, Susan E. Boehnke, Robert A. Marino, Brian J. White, Chin An Wang, Ron Levy, Douglas P. Munoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Local field potentials (LFPs) are becoming increasingly popular in neurophysiological studies. However, to date, most of the knowledge about LFPs has been obtained from cortical recordings. Here, we recorded single unit activity (SUA) and LFPs simultaneously from the superior colliculus (SC) of behaving rhesus monkeys. The SC is a midbrain structure that plays a central role in the visual orienting response. Previous studies have characterised the visual and visuomotor response properties of SUA in the superficial layers of the SC and the intermediate layers of the SC, respectively. We found that the signal properties of SUA were well preserved in the LFPs recorded from the SC. The SUA and LFPs had similar spatial and temporal properties, and the response properties of LFPs differed across layers, i.e. purely visual in the superficial layers of the SC but showing significant motor responses in the intermediate layers of the SC. There were also differences between SUA and LFPs. LFPs showed a significant reversal of activity following the phasic visual response, suggesting that the neighboring neurons were suppressed. The results indicate that the LFP can be used as a reliable measure of the SC activity in lieu of SUA, and open up a new way to assess sensorimotor processing within the SC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-865
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Eye movements
  • Rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta)
  • Saccade
  • Single unit activity
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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