Neural control of fast-regular saccades and antisaccades: an investigation using positron emission tomography

Exp Brain Res. 1997 Aug;116(1):50-62. doi: 10.1007/pl00005744.


Regional cerebral blood flow changes related to the performance of two oculomotor tasks and a central fixation task were compared in ten healthy human subjects. The tasks were: (a) performance of fast-regular saccades; (b) performance of voluntary antisaccades away from a peripheral cue; (c) passive maintenance of central visual fixation in the presence of irrelevant peripheral stimulation. The saccadic task was associated with a relative increase in activity in a number of occipitotemporal areas. Compared with both the fixation and the saccadic task, the performance of antisaccades activated a set of areas including: the superior and inferior parietal lobules, the precentral and prefrontal cortex, the cingulate cortex, and the supplementary motor area. The results of the present study suggest that: (a) compared with self-determined saccadic responses the performance of fast regular, reflexive saccades produces a limited activation of the frontal eye fields; (b) in the antisaccadic task the inferior parietal lobes subserve operations of sensory-motor integration dealing with attentional disengagement from the initial peripheral cue (appearing at an invalid spatial location) and with the recomputation of the antisaccadic vector on the basis of the wrong (e.g., spatially opposite) information provided by the same cue.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reaction Time
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon