For citation purposes: Chen LL, Tehovnik EJ, May PJ. Does the brain compute the future or the present? OA Neurosciences 2014 Apr 10;2(1):7.

Short communication

 
Systems

Does the brain compute the future or the present?

L Chen,, E Tehovnik, P May,
 

Authors affiliations

(1) University of Mississippi Medical Center, Department of Otolaryngology, Jackson, MS 39216, USA

(2) University of Mississippi Medical Center, Department of Ophthalmology, Jackson, MS 39216, USA

(3) University of Mississippi Medical Center, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences, Jackson, MS 39216, USA

(4) University of Mississippi Medical Center, Department of Neurology, Jackson, MS 39216, USA

(5) Brain Institute, UFRN, Natal, RN, 59056-450, Brazil

* Corresponding author Email: lchen2@umc.edu

Abstract

Introduction

Decades of studies have suggested that the visuomotor system possesses the capacity to predict the locations of targets based on their past trajectories. Whether this capacity is used to guide rapid saccadic eye movements remains largely unknown. A recent study employed an oculomotor version of the sport of baseball to test two competing hypotheses: the dual-drive and single-drive theories. The findings were consistent with other recent studies, supporting the notion that the saccadic system receives continuous updates of the target representation from the pursuit system. This occurs even if the target is temporarily occluded. In addition, they showed that the observed intercepting saccade is aimed at the computed location of the target at the moment of saccade completion. It is noteworthy that saccadic eye movement accuracy corresponds to the spatial and temporal range of the visual sensory system, such that the perception of the target and the production of the action are in the right place (on target) at the right time (on time). Based on the implications of these recent findings, we suggest that the saccade generator behaves like an embedded real-time processing unit that updates the perceptual frame of reference and compensates for delays. The aim of this paper is to review the data and literatures pertinent to this issue.

Short Communication

A recent study employed an oculomotor version of the sport of baseball to test two competing hypotheses: the dual-drive and single-drive theories. The findings were consistent with other recent studies, supporting the notion that the saccadic system receives continuous updates of the target representation from the pursuit system. This occurs even if the target is temporarily occluded. In addition, they showed that the observed intercepting saccade is aimed at the computed location of the target at the moment of saccade completion. It is noteworthy that saccadic eye movement accuracy corresponds to the spatial and temporal range of the visual sensory system, such that the perception of the target and the production of the action are in the right place (on target) at the right time (on time). The aim of this paper is to review the data and literatures pertinent to this particular issue.

Conclusion

Based on the implications of the recent findings, we suggest that the saccade generator behaves like an embedded real-time processing unit that updates the perceptual frame of reference and compensates for delays.


Licensee OA Publishing London 2014. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)
Keywords