A spiking neural network model of the midbrain superior colliculus that generates saccadic motor commandsReport as inadecuate

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Biological Cybernetics

pp 1–20

First Online: 20 May 2017Received: 19 January 2016Accepted: 08 May 2017DOI: 10.1007-s00422-017-0719-9

Cite this article as: Kasap, B. & van Opstal, A.J. Biol Cybern 2017. doi:10.1007-s00422-017-0719-9


Single-unit recordings suggest that the midbrain superior colliculus SC acts as an optimal controller for saccadic gaze shifts. The SC is proposed to be the site within the visuomotor system where the nonlinear spatial-to-temporal transformation is carried out: the population encodes the intended saccade vector by its location in the motor map spatial, and its trajectory and velocity by the distribution of firing rates temporal. The neurons’ burst profiles vary systematically with their anatomical positions and intended saccade vectors, to account for the nonlinear main-sequence kinematics of saccades. Yet, the underlying collicular mechanisms that could result in these firing patterns are inaccessible to current neurobiological techniques. Here, we propose a simple spiking neural network model that reproduces the spike trains of saccade-related cells in the intermediate and deep SC layers during saccades. The model assumes that SC neurons have distinct biophysical properties for spike generation that depend on their anatomical position in combination with a center–surround lateral connectivity. Both factors are needed to account for the observed firing patterns. Our model offers a basis for neuronal algorithms for spatiotemporal transformations and bio-inspired optimal controllers.

KeywordsSaccades Superior colliculus Motor map Spatial–temporal transformation Spiking neural network Pulse generation Nonlinearity 

Author: Bahadir Kasap - A. John van Opstal

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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