Satoru K. Miura, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral researcher

Current project

How visual motion is canceled in mouse V1 during saccades

Sensory stimuli are often generated by the animal's own movements. However, in order to selectively respond to stimuli that are generated externally, many sensory systems have evolved mechanisms to suppress these self-induced inputs. This is the main reason why it is difficult to tickle oneself.

The self-motion that I'm interested in is a type of rapid eye movement called saccades. This type of movement is commonly found throughout the animal kingdom, including both vertebrates and invertebrates. Similar to other types of self-motion, saccades also induce sensory inputs: in this case in the form of the visual scene rapidly shifting on the retina. Yet, our visual system omits this visual motion from our perception, allowing us to maintain a sense of stability of the visual world. How is this implemented in the circuitry of the visual system? This is an old question, for which we still don't have an answer. As a matter of fact, an 11th century scholar, Alhazen (whose schematic of the human visual system is used as the cover of this website), had already recognized this phenomenon almost a thousand years ago.

To address how visual cortex deals with the visual motion induced by saccades, I study the impact of the eye movement on the neural representation of the direction of motion, using electrophysiology in mouse V1. Our data suggest that the information about the direction of motion induced by saccades is scrambled by a non-visual input, in a manner somewhat similar to how radio jammers work. We propose that this is how V1 erases the self-motion induced input.

We are currently preparing the manuscript for this story. Stay tuned!

Here's a link to the talk I recently gave on this topic at Neuromatch3.0 (starts around 2:17:20):