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.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience