With each eye movement, a new image impinges on the retina, yet we do not notice any shift in visual perception. This perceptual stability indicates that the brain must be able to update visual representations to take our eye movements into account. Neurons in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) update visual representations when the eyes move. The circuitry that supports these updated representations remains unknown, however. In this experiment, we asked whether the forebrain commissures are necessary for updating in area LIP when stimulus representations must be updated from one visual hemifield to the other. We addressed this question by recording from LIP neurons in split-brain monkeys during two conditions: stimulus traces were updated either across or within hemifields. Our expectation was that across-hemifield updating activity in LIP would be reduced or abolished after transection of the forebrain commissures. Our principal finding is that LIP neurons can update stimulus traces from one hemifield to the other even in the absence of the forebrain commissures. This finding provides the first evidence that representations in parietal cortex can be updated without the use of direct cortico-cortical links. The second main finding is that updating activity in LIP is modified in the split-brain monkey: across-hemifield signals are reduced in magnitude and delayed in onset compared with within-hemifield signals, which indicates that the pathways for across-hemifield updating are less effective in the absence of the forebrain commissures. Together these findings reveal a dynamic circuit that contributes to updating spatial representations.
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