Published on Mon Jul 12 2021

A corollary discharge mediates saccade related inhibition of single units in mnemonic structures of the human brain

Katz, C. N., Schjetnan, A. G. P., Patel, K. V., Barkley, V., Hoffman, K. L., Kalia, S. K., Duncan, K., Valiante, T. A.

Little is known about how single-unit activity (SUA) in the human mesial temporal lobe (MTL) is modulated by saccadic eye movements. We reveal evidence for a corollary discharge (CD)-like modulatory signal that accompanies SEMs.

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Abstract

Despite the critical link between visual exploration and memory, little is known about how single-unit activity (SUA) in the human mesial temporal lobe (MTL) is modulated by saccadic eye movements (SEMs). Here we characterize SEM associated SUA modulations, unit-by-unit, and contrast them to image onset, and to occipital lobe SUA. We reveal evidence for a corollary discharge (CD)-like modulatory signal that accompanies SEMs, inhibiting/exciting a unique population of broad/narrow spiking units, respectively, before and during SEMs, and with directional selectivity. These findings comport well with the timing, directional nature, and inhibitory circuit implementation of a CD. Additionally, by linking SUA to event-related potentials (ERPs), which are directionally modulated following SEMs, we recontextualize the ERP associated with SEM as a proxy for both the strength of inhibition and saccade direction, providing a mechanistic underpinning for the more commonly recorded SEM-related ERP in the human brain.