Despite saccades changing the image on the retina several times per second, we still perceive a stable visual world. A possible mechanism underlying this stability is that an internal retinotopic map is updated with each saccade, with the location of objects being compared before and after the saccade. Psychophysical experiments have shown that humans derive such location information from a corollary discharge (CD) accompanying saccades. Such a CD has been identified in the monkey brain in a circuit extending from superior colliculus to frontal cortex. There is a missing piece, however. Perceptual localization is established only in humans and the CD circuit only in monkeys. We therefore extended measurement of perceptual localization to the monkey by adapting the target displacement detection task developed in humans. During saccades to targets, the target disappeared and then reappeared, sometimes at a different location. The monkeys reported the displacement direction. Detections of displacement were similar in monkeys and humans, but enhanced detection of displacement from blanking the target at the end of the saccade was observed only in humans, not in monkeys. Saccade amplitude varied across trials, but the monkey's estimates of target location did not follow that variation, indicating that eye location depended on an internal CD rather than external visual information. We conclude that monkeys use a CD to determine their new eye location after each saccade, just as humans do.
ASJC Scopus subject areas