Visual processing, learning and feedback in the primate eye movement system

Trends Neurosci. 2009 Nov;32(11):583-90. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2009.07.004. Epub 2009 Sep 2.


We present an overview of recent paradigms used for studying visual information and reward processing in the human and monkey oculomotor pathways. Current evidence indicates that eye movements made during visual search tasks rely on neural computations similar to those employed when eye movements are planned and executed to obtain explicit rewards. These data suggest that human eye movements originate from the processing of (predominantly visual) sensory information, feedback about previous errors, and expectations about factors, such as reward. We conclude that these properties make the saccadic system an ideal model for studying both the behavioral and neural mechanisms for human voluntary and involuntary choice behavior.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention
  • Behavioral Research / methods*
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Feedback
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Oculomotor Muscles / innervation
  • Oculomotor Muscles / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / cytology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*