Previous studies from our laboratory identified a parietal eye field in the primate lateral intraparietal sulcus, the lateral intraparietal area (area LIP). Here we further explore the role of area LIP in processing saccadic eye movements by observing the effects of reversible inactivation of this area. One to 2 microl of muscimol (8 mg/ml) were injected at locations where saccade-related activities were recorded for each lesion experiment. After the muscimol injection we observed in two macaque monkeys consistent effects on both the metrics and dynamics of saccadic eye movements at many injection sites. These effects usually took place within 10-30 min and disappeared after 5-6 h in most cases and certainly when tested the next day. After muscimol injection memory saccades directed toward the contralesional and upper space became hypometric, and in one monkey those to the ipsilesional space were slightly but significantly hypermetric. In some cases, the scatter of the end points of memory saccades was also increased. On the other hand, the metrics of visual saccades remained relatively intact. Latency for both visual and memory saccades toward the contralesional space was increased and in many cases displayed a higher variance after muscimol lesion. At many injection sites we also observed an increase of latency for visual and memory saccades toward the upper space. The peak velocities for memory saccades toward the contralesional space were decreased after muscimol injection. The peak velocities of visual saccades were not significantly different from those of the controls. The duration of saccadic eye movements either to the ipsilesional or contralesional space remained relatively the same for both visual and memory saccades. Overall these results demonstrated that we were able to selectively inactivate area LIP and observe effects on saccadic eye movements. Together with our previous recording studies these results futher support the view that area LIP plays a direct role in processing incoming sensory information to program saccadic eye movements. The results are consistent with our unit recording data and microstimulation studies, which suggest that area LIP represents contralateral space and also has a bias for the upper visual field.