Functional neuroanatomy of the human eye movement network: a review and atlas

Brain Struct Funct. 2019 Nov;224(8):2603-2617. doi: 10.1007/s00429-019-01932-7. Epub 2019 Aug 12.


The human eye movement network is a complex system that requires the integration of sensory, motor, attentional, and executive processes. Here, we review the neuroanatomy of the eye movement network with an emphasis on functional neuroimaging applications. We consolidate the literature into a concise resource designed to be immediately accessible and applicable to diverse research interests, and present the novel Functional Oculomotor System (FOcuS) Atlas-a tool in stereotaxic space that will simplify and standardize the inclusion of the eye movement network in future functional neuroimaging studies. We anticipate this review and the FOcuS Atlas will facilitate increased examination of the eye movement network across disciplines leading to a thorough understanding of how eye movement network function contributes to higher-order cognition and how it is integrated with other brain networks. Furthermore, functional examination of the eye movement network in patient populations offers the potential for deeper insight into the role of eye movement circuitry in functional network activity, diagnostic assessments, and the indications for augmentative communication systems that rely on eye movement control.

Keywords: Atlas; Eye movement; MRI; Network connectivity; Ocular motility; Visual processing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atlases as Topic
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Eye Movements*
  • Functional Neuroimaging
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / physiology