Neural systems in the visual control of steering
Field, D. T., Wilkie, R. M. and Wann, J. P. (2007) Neural systems in the visual control of steering. Journal of Neuroscience, 27 (30). pp. 8002-8010. ISSN 0270-6474
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1523/jneurosci.2130-07.2007
Visual control of locomotion is essential for most mammals and requires coordination between perceptual processes and action systems. Previous research on the neural systems engaged by self-motion has focused on heading perception, which is only one perceptual subcomponent. For effective steering, it is necessary to perceive an appropriate future path and then bring about the required change to heading. Using function magnetic resonance imaging in humans, we reveal a role for the parietal eye fields (PEFs) in directing spatially selective processes relating to future path information. A parietal area close to PEFs appears to be specialized for processing the future path information itself. Furthermore, a separate parietal area responds to visual position error signals, which occur when steering adjustments are imprecise. A network of three areas, the cerebellum, the supplementary eye fields, and dorsal premotor cortex, was found to be involved in generating appropriate motor responses for steering adjustments. This may reflect the demands of integrating visual inputs with the output response for the control device.