Executive control of countermanding saccades by the supplementary eye field

Nat Neurosci. 2006 Jul;9(7):925-31. doi: 10.1038/nn1714. Epub 2006 May 28.


The supplementary eye field registers the occurrence of conflict, errors and reward in macaque monkeys performing a saccade-countermanding task. Using intracortical microstimulation, we determined whether the supplementary eye field only monitors or can actually influence performance. Weak microstimulation of many sites in the supplementary eye field improved monkeys' performance on a 'stop signal' task by delaying saccade initiation. This effect depended on the context of the task because simple visually guided saccades were not delayed by the same stimulation. These results demonstrate that the supplementary eye field can exert contextual executive control over saccade generation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Action Potentials / radiation effects
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Eye*
  • Frontal Lobe / cytology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Functional Laterality
  • Macaca radiata
  • Male
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neural Inhibition / radiation effects
  • Neurons / classification
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Saccades / radiation effects
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology
  • Sensory Thresholds / radiation effects
  • Visual Fields / physiology*