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Psychophysiology. 2006 May;43(3):302-13.

The antisaccade task as a research tool in psychopathology: a critical review.

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Department of Psychology, Sussex University, Brighton, UK.


The antisaccade task is a measure of volitional control of behavior sensitive to fronto-striatal dysfunction. Here we outline important issues concerning antisaccade methodology, consider recent evidence of the cognitive processes and neural mechanisms involved in task performance, and review how the task has been applied to study psychopathology. We conclude that the task yields reliable and sensitive measures of the processes involved in resolving the conflict between volitional and reflexive behavioral responses, a key cognitive deficit relevant to a number of neuropsychiatric conditions. Additionally, antisaccade deficits may reflect genetic liability for schizophrenia. Finally, the ease and accuracy with which the task can be administered, combined with its sensitivity to fronto-striatal dysfunction and the availability of suitable control conditions, may make it a useful benchmark tool for studies of potential cognitive enhancers.

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