Saccade direction encoding in the primate entorhinal cortex during visual exploration

Nathaniel J. Killian, Steve M. Potter, Elizabeth A. Buffalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We recently demonstrated that position in visual space is represented by grid cells in the primate entorhinal cortex (EC), suggesting that visual exploration of complex scenes in primates may employ signaling mechanisms similar to those used during exploration of physical space via movement in rodents. Here, we describe a group of saccade direction (SD) cells that encode eye movement information in the monkey EC during free-viewing of complex images. Significant saccade direction encoding was found in 20% of the cells recorded in the posterior EC. SD cells were generally broadly tuned and two largely separate populations of SD cells encoded future and previous saccade direction. Some properties of these cells resemble those of head-direction cells in rodent EC, suggesting that the same neural circuitry may be capable of performing homologous spatial computations under different exploratory contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15743-15748
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 22 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Grid cell
  • Head direction
  • Medial temporal lobe
  • Spatial representation
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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