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Express saccades in man and monkey

Elsevier Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1016/s0079-6123(08)63410-x


Publisher Summary Several control experiments and the systematic changes of the reaction time of express saccades with changes of the physical and behavioral aspects of the task convinced the authors that, the occurrence of the express saccades is not a consequence of any kind of artifact but a real phenomenon that reflects special aspects of the processes preceding visually guided saccades. This chapter discusses the evidence for the existence of express saccades not only in the monkey but also in humans. It also argues, based on lesion experiments, that the superior colliculus together with the primary visual cortex must be intact for the generation of correct express saccades, whereas the frontal eye fields are not needed. The existence of the express saccades offers a way to reduce the time of initiating eye movements by about 100 mseconds. In addition, it is essential to note that the reaction times of coordinated eye and reaching hand movements are closely correlated for regular saccades with long reaction times, but not for express saccades.

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