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J Neurophysiol. 1991 Jun;65(6):1243-53.

Eye movements elicited by electrical stimulation of area PG in the monkey.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


1. Eye positions of monkeys were tracked while low-current electrical stimulation was delivered to area PG of the posterior parietal cortex. Stimulation was delivered while monkeys were in darkness, while they were in a dimly illuminated room, or while they actively fixated on small lamps to receive a liquid reward. 2. Resulting eye movements fell into one of three categories, depending roughly on the area stimulated. Stimulation of caudal regions generally resulted in saccades that were of approximately equivalent amplitudes and directions. When more rostral areas were stimulated, saccades were generally produced that directed the eyes toward roughly the same position in the head. Distributed throughout all regions were sites for which elicited saccades did not fall clearly into either of these coordinate bases. Stimulation of lateral areas produced low-velocity eye movements that were directed ipsilaterally from the stimulated hemisphere. 3. Stimulation made while monkeys fixated on target lamps produced saccades with more variability and less amplitude than those produced while monkeys were in darkness. Low-velocity eye movements could only be elicited while monkeys were in darkness. 4. Craniocentric saccades typically brought the eyes to within a 10-20 degrees area, and saccades could not be produced when the initial eye position was near this area. Craniocentric saccades were always greater than 5 degrees in amplitude. 5. It is concluded that area PG is organized into at least two zones that differ in the way by which they code saccades. A caudal region codes saccades in a way similar to that found in the frontal cortex and superior colliculus of primates. A rostral region codes saccades in a craniocentric manner, although it is restricted only to gross redirection of gaze without the accuracy monkeys are capable of using in directing their eyes.

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