Shared Motor Error for Multiple Eye Movements

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Science  13 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5319, pp. 1693-1695
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5319.1693

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Most natural actions are accomplished with a seamless combination of individual movements. Such coordination poses a problem: How does the motor system orchestrate multiple movements to produce a single goal-directed action? The results from current experiments suggest one possible solution. Oculomotor neurons in the superior colliculus of a primate responded to mismatches between eye and target positions, even when the animal made two different types of eye movements. This neuronal activity therefore does not appear to convey a command for a specific type of eye movement but instead encodes an error signal that could be used by multiple movements. The use of shared inputs is one possible strategy for ensuring that different movements share a common goal.

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