Modulation of Antisaccades by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the Human Frontal Eye Field

Cereb Cortex. 2006 Jan;16(1):76-82. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhi085. Epub 2005 Apr 20.


It has been suggested that the frontal eye field (FEF), which is involved with the inhibition and generation of saccades, is engaged to a different degree in pro- and antisaccades. Pro- and antisaccades are often assessed in separate experimental blocks. In such cases, saccade inhibition is required for antisaccades but not for prosaccades. To more directly assess the role of the FEF in saccade inhibition and generation, a new paradigm was used in which inhibition was necessary on pro- and antisaccade trials. Participants looked in the direction indicated by a target ('<' or '>') that appeared in the left or right visual field. When the pointing direction and the location were congruent, prosaccades were executed; otherwise antisaccades were required. Saccadic latencies were measured in blocks without and with single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the right FEF or a right posterior control site. Results showed that antisaccades generated into the hemifield ipsilateral to the TMS were significantly delayed after TMS over the FEF, but not the posterior control site. This result is interpreted in terms of a modulation of saccade inhibition to the contralateral visual field due to disruption of processing in the FEF.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Adult
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods*
  • Visual Fields / physiology*