Pursuit and optokinetic deficits following chemical lesions of cortical areas MT and MST

J Neurophysiol. 1988 Sep;60(3):940-65. doi: 10.1152/jn.1988.60.3.940.


1. Previous experiments have shown that punctate chemical lesions within the middle temporal area (MT) of the superior temporal sulcus (STS) produce deficits in the initiation and maintenance of pursuit eye movements (10, 34). The present experiments were designed to test the effect of such chemical lesions in an area within the STS to which MT projects, the medial superior temporal area (MST). 2. We injected ibotenic acid into localized regions of MST, and we observed two deficits in pursuit eye movements, a retinotopic deficit and a directional deficit. 3. The retinotopic deficit in pursuit initiation was characterized by the monkey's inability to match eye speed to target speed or to adjust the amplitude of the saccade made to acquire the target to compensate for target motion. This deficit was related to the initiation of pursuit to targets moving in any direction in the visual field contralateral to the side of the brain with the lesion. This deficit was similar to the deficit we found following damage to extrafoveal MT except that the affected area of the visual field frequently extended throughout the entire contralateral visual field tested. 4. The directional deficit in pursuit maintenance was characterized by a failure to match eye speed to target speed once the fovea had been brought near the moving target. This deficit occurred only when the target was moving toward the side of the lesion, regardless of whether the target began to move in the ipsilateral or contralateral visual field. There was no deficit in the amplitude of saccades made to acquire the target, or in the amplitude of the catch-up saccades made to compensate for the slowed pursuit. The directional deficit is similar to the one we described previously following chemical lesions of the foveal representation in the STS. 5. Retinotopic deficits resulted from any of our injections in MST. Directional deficits resulted from lesions limited to subregions within MST, particularly lesions that invaded the floor of the STS and the posterior bank of the STS just lateral to MT. Extensive damage to the densely myelinated area of the anterior bank or to the posterior parietal area on the dorsal lip of the anterior bank produced minimal directional deficits. 6. We conclude that damage to visual motion processing in MST underlies the retinotopic pursuit deficit just as it does in MT. MST appears to be a sequential step in visual motion processing that occurs before all of the visual motion information is transmitted to the brainstem areas related to pursuit.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eye Movements*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Nystagmus, Physiologic
  • Retina / physiopathology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Visual Fields