How the brain keeps the eyes still

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

378 Scopus citations


The brain can hold the eyes still because it stores a memory of eye position. The brain's memory of horizontal eye position appears to be represented by persistent neural activity in a network known as the neural integrator, which is localized in the brainstem and cerebellum. Existing experimental data are reinterpreted as evidence for an 'attractor hypothesis' that the persistent patterns of activity observed in this network form an attractive line of fixed points in its state space. Line attractor dynamics can be produced in linear or nonlinear neural networks by learning mechanisms that precisely tune positive feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13339-13344
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 12 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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