Deficits in visual motion processing following ibotenic acid lesions of the middle temporal visual area of the macaque monkey.
Physiological experiments have produced evidence that the middle temporal visual area (MT) of the monkey is selectively involved in the analysis of visual motion. We tested this hypothesis by studying the effects of small chemical lesions of MT on eye movements made in response to moving as opposed to stationary visual targets. We observed two deficits for eye movements made to moving targets: a monkey's ability to match the speed of his smooth pursuit eye movements to the speed of the moving target was impaired, and a monkey's ability to adjust the amplitude of a saccadic eye movement to compensate for target motion was impaired. In contrast, saccades to stationary targets were unaffected by the MT lesions, suggesting that monkeys with MT lesions had more difficulty responding to moving than to stationary stimuli. These results provide the first behavioral evidence that neural processing in MT contributes to the cortical analysis of visual motion.