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. 2013 Dec 20;8(12):e83297.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083297. eCollection 2013.

The Frontal Eye Field Is Involved in Visual Vector Inversion in Humans--A Theta Burst Stimulation Study

Free PMC article

The Frontal Eye Field Is Involved in Visual Vector Inversion in Humans--A Theta Burst Stimulation Study

Katrin Jaun-Frutiger et al. PLoS One. .
Free PMC article


In the antisaccade task, subjects are requested to suppress a reflexive saccade towards a visual target and to perform a saccade towards the opposite side. In addition, in order to reproduce an accurate saccadic amplitude, the visual saccade vector (i.e., the distance between a central fixation point and the peripheral target) must be exactly inverted from one visual hemifield to the other. Results from recent studies using a correlational approach (i.e., fMRI, MEG) suggest that not only the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) but also the frontal eye field (FEF) might play an important role in such a visual vector inversion process. In order to assess whether the FEF contributes to visual vector inversion, we applied an interference approach with continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) during a memory-guided antisaccade task. In 10 healthy subjects, one train of cTBS was applied over the right FEF prior to a memory-guided antisaccade task. In comparison to the performance without stimulation or with sham stimulation, cTBS over the right FEF induced a hypometric gain for rightward but not leftward antisaccades. These results obtained with an interference approach confirm that the FEF is also involved in the process of visual vector inversion.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Mean gain 1 (error bars: +/− 1 standard error of the mean (SEM)) of antisaccades for the three stimulation conditions (cTBS right FEF; sham right FEF, no stimulation) and the two directions (leftward; rightward).
cTBS over the right FEF induced a significantly hypometric gain for rightward antisaccades, but not for leftward ones (* indicate significant post hoc tests, Bonferroni-corrected; rightward control vs. rightward TBS: p = .011; rightward sham vs. rightward TBS: p = .003; leftward TBS vs. rightward TBS: p = .012).

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Grant support

The work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (320030_140696/1). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.