Attending to other people's gaze is evolutionary important to make inferences about intentions and actions. Gaze influences covert attention and triggers eye movements. However, we know little about how the brain controls the fine-grain dynamics of eye movements during gaze following. Observers followed people's gaze shifts in videos during search and we related the observer eye movement dynamics to the time course of gazer head movements extracted by a deep neural network. We show that the observers' brains use information in the visual periphery to execute predictive saccades that anticipate the information in the gazer's head direction by 190-350 ms. The brain simultaneously monitors moment-to-moment changes in the gazer's head velocity to dynamically alter eye movements and re-fixate the gazer (reverse saccades) when the head accelerates before the initiation of the first forward gaze-following saccade. Using saccade-contingent manipulations of the videos, we experimentally show that the reverse saccades are planned concurrently with the first forward gaze-following saccade and have a functional role in reducing subsequent errors fixating on the gaze goal. Together, our findings characterize the inferential and functional nature of social attention's fine-grain eye movement dynamics.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are deposited at https://osf.io/g9bzt/
Eye Movement Planning During Dynamic Gaze Followingosf.io/g9bzt.
- Miguel Patricio Eckstein
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The experiment protocol was approved by the University of California Internal Review Board with protocol number 12-22-0667. All participants signed consent forms to participate in the experiment and to include their images in resulting publications.
- Miriam Spering, The University of British Columbia, Canada
© 2023, Han & Eckstein
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The synchronization of canonical fast sleep spindle activity (12.5–16 Hz, adult-like) precisely during the slow oscillation (0.5–1 Hz) up peak is considered an essential feature of adult non-rapid eye movement sleep. However, there is little knowledge on how this well-known coalescence between slow oscillations and sleep spindles develops. Leveraging individualized detection of single events, we first provide a detailed cross-sectional characterization of age-specific patterns of slow and fast sleep spindles, slow oscillations, and their coupling in children and adolescents aged 5–6, 8–11, and 14–18 years, and an adult sample of 20- to 26-year-olds. Critically, based on this, we then investigated how spindle and slow oscillation maturity substantiate age-related differences in their precise orchestration. While the predominant type of fast spindles was development-specific in that it was still nested in a frequency range below the canonical fast spindle range for the majority of children, the well-known slow oscillation-spindle coupling pattern was evident for sleep spindles in the adult-like canonical fast spindle range in all four age groups—but notably less precise in children. To corroborate these findings, we linked personalized measures of fast spindle maturity, which indicate the similarity between the prevailing development-specific and adult-like canonical fast spindles, and slow oscillation maturity, which reflects the extent to which slow oscillations show frontal dominance, with individual slow oscillation-spindle coupling patterns. Importantly, we found that fast spindle maturity was uniquely associated with enhanced slow oscillation-spindle coupling strength and temporal precision across the four age groups. Taken together, our results suggest that the increasing ability to generate adult-like canonical fast sleep spindles actuates precise slow oscillation-spindle coupling patterns from childhood through adolescence and into young adulthood.
Transsynaptic viral vectors provide means to gain genetic access to neurons based on synaptic connectivity and are essential tools for the dissection of neural circuit function. Among them, the retrograde monosynaptic ΔG-Rabies has been widely used in neuroscience research. A recently developed engineered version of the ΔG-Rabies, the non-toxic self-inactivating (SiR) virus, allows the long term genetic manipulation of neural circuits. However, the high mutational rate of the rabies virus poses a risk that mutations targeting the key genetic regulatory element in the SiR genome could emerge and revert it to a canonical ΔG-Rabies. Such revertant mutations have recently been identified in a SiR batch. To address the origin, incidence and relevance of these mutations, we investigated the genomic stability of SiR in vitro and in vivo. We found that “revertant” mutations are rare and accumulate only when SiR is extensively amplified in vitro, particularly in suboptimal production cell lines that have insufficient levels of TEV protease activity. Moreover, we confirmed that SiR-CRE, unlike canonical ΔG-Rab-CRE or revertant-SiR-CRE, is non-toxic and that revertant mutations do not emerge in vivo during long-term experiments.