TMS of the posterior parietal cortex delays the latency of unpredictable saccades but not when they are combined with predictable divergence

Brain Res Bull. 2008 May 15;76(1-2):50-6. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2007.11.007. Epub 2007 Dec 7.


This study tests the influence of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) on the initiation of horizontal and vertical saccades, alone or combined with a predictable divergence. A gap paradigm was used; TMS was applied 100 ms after target onset. TMS of the left PPC increased the latency of unpredictable rightward saccades, while TMS of the right PPC increased the latency of unpredictable downward saccades. Yet, when unpredictable saccades were combined with predictable divergence, neither component was affected. We suggest that in the latter case, the initiation of both components was taken in charge by another area, e.g. frontal. Thus, even when one component was predictable, a common mechanism controls the initiation of both components. The results confirm that TMS only modifies the latency when the cortical area stimulated is involved in the triggering of the eye movement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*