We examined whether the preparation of saccadic eye movements, when behaviorally dissociated from covert attention, modulates activity within visual cortex. We measured single-neuron and local field potential (LFP) responses to visual stimuli in area V4 while monkeys covertly attended a stimulus at one location and prepared saccades to a potential target at another. In spite of the irrelevance of visual information at the saccade target, visual activity at that location was modulated at least as much as, and often more than, activity at the covertly attended location. Modulations of activity at the attended and saccade target locations were qualitatively similar and included increased response magnitude, stimulus selectivity, and spiking reliability, as well as increased gamma and decreased low-frequency power of LFPs. These results demonstrate that saccade preparation is sufficient to modulate visual cortical representations and suggest that the interrelationship of oculomotor and attention-related mechanisms extends to posterior visual cortex.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.