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J Neurophysiol. 2007 Sep;98(3):1751-62. Epub 2007 Jun 27.

Frontoparietal activation with preparation for antisaccades.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada.


Several current models hold that frontoparietal areas exert cognitive control by biasing task-relevant processing in other brain areas. Previous event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have compared prosaccades and antisaccades, which require subjects to look toward or away from a flashed peripheral stimulus, respectively. These studies found greater activation for antisaccades in frontal and parietal regions at the ends of long (>or=6 s) preparatory periods preceding peripheral stimulus presentation. Event-related fMRI studies using short preparatory periods (<or=4 s) have not found such activation differences except in the frontal eye field. Here, we identified activation differences associated with short (1-s) preparatory periods by interleaving half trials among regular whole trials in a rapid fMRI design. On whole trials, a colored fixation dot instructed human subjects to make either a prosaccade toward or an antisaccade away from a peripheral visual stimulus. Half trials included only the instruction and not peripheral stimulus presentation or saccade generation. Nonetheless, half trials evoked stronger activation on antisaccades than on prosaccades in the frontal eye field (FEF), supplementary eye field (SEF), left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), intraparietal sulcus (IPS), and precuneus. Greater antisaccade response-related activation was found in FEF, SEF, IPS, and precuneus but not in DLPFC or ACC. These results demonstrate greater preparatory activation for antisaccades versus prosaccades in frontoparietal areas and suggest that prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex are more involved in presetting the saccade network for the antisaccade task than generating the actual antisaccade response.

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