The detection of visual signals by macaque frontal eye field during masking

Nat Neurosci. 1999 Mar;2(3):283-8. doi: 10.1038/6398.


The neural link between a sensory signal and its behavioral report was investigated in macaques trained to locate an intermittently detectable visual target. Neurons in the frontal eye field, an area involved in converting the outcome of visual processing into motor commands, responded at short latencies to the target stimulus whether or not the monkey reported its presence. Neural activity immediately preceding the visual response to the mask was significantly greater on hits than on misses, and was significantly greater on false alarms than on correct rejections. The results show that visual signals masked by light are not filtered out at early stages of visual processing; furthermore, the magnitude of early visual responses in prefrontal cortex predicts the behavioral report.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Macaca mulatta / physiology*
  • Perceptual Masking / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology*