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The role of frontal oculomotor structures in the predictive control of eye movements /

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Eye -- Movements.
  • Vision.
  • Neurophysiology.
  • Physics


The role of the FEF/FPA and SEF in oculomotor prediction was investigated using psychophysics, functional MRI (fMRI) and TMS. The separate contribution of advance knowledge of target direction and target timing to predictive saccades, and neural activity in frontal oculomotor structures was first investigated. The greatest proportion of predictive saccades were elicited when subjects had advance knowledge of both target direction and target timing; advance knowledge of target direction increased the proportion of predictive saccades, while advance knowledge of target timing decreased saccade latencies without increasing predictive saccades. Activity was greater in the FEF for all saccade tasks with a predictable component than reflexive saccades. Activity in the FEF was higher in tasks for which saccade latencies were lower. These data suggest that target direction and target timing independently reduce saccade latencies, and that this information converges in the FEF to allow the generation of predictive saccades. In the SEF, activity was greater only in the condition when both target direction and target timing were predictable. This finding may reflect a role of the SEF in oculomotor sequencing rather than in prediction per se.

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