Different involvement of subregions within dorsal premotor and medial frontal cortex for pro- and antisaccades

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 Sep;68:256-269. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.05.012. Epub 2016 May 19.


The antisaccade task has been widely used to investigate cognitive action control. While the general network for saccadic eye movements is well defined, the exact location of eye fields within the frontal cortex strongly varies between studies. It is unknown whether this inconsistency reflects spatial uncertainty or is the result of different involvement of subregions for specific aspects of eye movement control. The aim of the present study was to examine functional differentiations within the frontal cortex by integrating results from neuroimaging studies analyzing pro- and antisaccade behavior using meta-analyses. The results provide evidence for a differential functional specialization of neighboring oculomotor frontal regions, with lateral frontal eye fields (FEF) and supplementary eye field (SEF) more often involved in prosaccades while medial FEF and anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) revealed consistent stronger involvement for antisaccades. This dissociation was furthermore mirrored by functional connectivity analyses showing that the lateral FEF and SEF are embedded in a motor output network, while medial FEF and aMCC are integrated in a multiple demand network.

Keywords: Eye movements; Functional connectivity (FC); Lateral FEF; Medial FEF; Meta-analysis; Meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM); Resting state; SEF; aMCC; fMRI.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping
  • Frontal Lobe*
  • Humans
  • Saccades*
  • Visual Fields