The antisaccade task in a sample of 2,006 young men. I. Normal population characteristics

Exp Brain Res. 2002 Nov;147(1):45-52. doi: 10.1007/s00221-002-1208-4. Epub 2002 Sep 13.


A population of 2,075 young men aged 18-25 years selected from the conscripts of the Greek Air Force performed an antisaccade task as part of a prospective study for the identification of risk factors in the development of psychoses. The aim of this study, which is ongoing, is to follow this population and investigate the possible predictive value of oculomotor, cognitive, and psychometric factors for the development of psychosis and other psychiatric conditions. In this report we present data concerning the antisaccade task in this population. We measured performance indices, including the percentage of errors (PE), the latencies of different eye movement responses (latency for correct antisaccades, errors, corrections), and performance in perseveration-prone trials. These indices were also evaluated with respect to IQ (measured by the Raven progressive matrices test) and educational level. Mean PE was 23%, with 17% variance. This large variance is of particular importance whenever the detection of a putative deviant behavior is explored. As mean latency of the first eye movement decreased, the PE increased, as did the latency variance. While the negative correlation between percentage of error and mean latency is well established, the relationship of the latency variability of the first response to error production has not been studied before. Thus, optimal performance appears to require both an intermediate mean latency and a small variability. Furthermore, performance seems to be affected by IQ (the higher the IQ score, the lower the percentage of errors). This report offers an analysis of the interindividual variation in the performance of the antisaccade task and discusses some of the sources of this variation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Computer Graphics
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Saccades / physiology*