Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 4 (NIPS 1991)
Because eye muscles never cocontract and do not deal with external loads, one can write an equation that relates motoneuron firing rate to eye position and velocity - a very uncommon situation in the CNS. The semicircular canals transduce head velocity in a linear manner by using a high background discharge rate, imparting linearity to the premotor circuits that generate eye movements. This has allowed deducing some of the signal processing involved, including a neural network that integrates. These ideas are often summarized by block diagrams. Unfortunately, they are of little value in describing the behavior of single neurons - a fmding supported by neural network models.