Send to

Choose Destination
Neuroimage. 2010 Jan 1;49(1):805-16. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.07.052. Epub 2009 Jul 29.

Event-related functional MRI of cortical activity evoked by microsaccades, small visually-guided saccades, and eyeblinks in human visual cortex.

Author information

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA.


We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine blood oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes following microsaccades, visually-guided saccades, and eyeblinks in retinotopically mapped visual cortical areas V1-V3 and hMT+. A deconvolution analysis revealed a similar pattern of BOLD activation following a microsaccade, 0.16 degrees voluntary saccade, and 0.16 degrees displacement of the image under conditions of fixation. In all areas, an initial increase in BOLD signal peaking at approximately 4.5 s after the event was followed by a decline and decrease below baseline. This modulation appears most pronounced for microsaccades and small voluntary saccades in V1, diminishing in strength from V1 to V3. In contrast, 0.16 degrees real motion under conditions of fixation yields the same level of BOLD signal increase in V1 through V3. BOLD signal modulates parametrically with the size of voluntary saccades (0.16 degrees , 0.38 degrees , 0.82 degrees , 1.64 degrees , and 3.28 degrees ) in V1-V3, but not in hMT+. Eyeblinks generate larger modulation that peaks by 6.5 s, and dips below baseline by 10 s post-event, and also exhibits diminishing modulation from V1 to V3. Our results are consistent with the occurrence of transient neural excitation driven by changes in input to retinal ganglion cell receptive fields that are induced by microsaccades, visually-guided saccades, or small image shifts. The pattern of results in area hMT+ exhibits no significant modulation by microsaccades, relatively small modulation by eyeblinks, and substantial responses to saccades and background jumps, suggesting that spurious image motion signal arising from microsaccades and eyeblinks is relatively diminished by hMT+.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center