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Brain Cogn. 2008 Dec;68(3):271-83. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2008.08.017. Epub 2008 Oct 21.

Neurophysiology and neuroanatomy of reflexive and voluntary saccades in non-human primates.

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  • 1Centre for Neuroscience Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, Ont., Canada K7L 3N6.


A multitude of cognitive functions can easily be tested by a number of relatively simple saccadic eye movement tasks. This approach has been employed extensively with patient populations to investigate the functional deficits associated with psychiatric disorders. Neurophysiological studies in non-human primates performing the same tasks have begun to provide us with insights into the neural mechanisms underlying many cognitive functions. Here, we review studies that have investigated single neuron activity in the superior colliculus (see glossary), frontal eye field, supplementary eye field, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate (see glossary) cortex and lateral intraparietal area associated with the performance of visually guided saccades, anti-saccades and memory-guided saccades in awake behaving monkeys.

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