Coordination of pupil and saccade responses by the superior colliculus

Chin An Wang, Douglas P. Munoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The appearance of a salient stimulus evokes saccadic eye movements and pupil dilation as part of the orienting response. Although the role of the superior colliculus (SC) in saccade and pupil dilation has been established separately, whether and how these responses are coordinated remains unknown. The SC also receives global luminance signals from the retina, but whether global luminance modulates saccade and pupil responses coordinated by the SC remains unknown. Here, we used microstimulation to causally determine how the SC coordinates saccade and pupil responses and whether global luminance modulates these responses by varying stimulation frequency and global luminance in male monkeys. Stimulation frequency modulated saccade and pupil responses, with trial-by-trial correlations between the two responses. Global luminance only modulated pupil, but not saccade, responses. Our results demonstrate an integrated role of the SC on coordinating saccade and pupil responses, characterizing luminance independent modulation in the SC, together elucidating the differentiated pathways underlying this behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-932
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2021


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