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J Neurophysiol. 1996 May;75(5):2187-91.

Visually guided saccade versus eye-hand reach: contrasting neuronal activity in the cortical supplementary and frontal eye fields.

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Department of Physiology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.


1. We studied neuronal activity in the supplementary eye field (SEF) and frontal eye field (FEF) of a monkey during performance of a conditional motor task that required capturing of a target either with a saccadic eye movement (the saccade-only condition) or with an eye-hand reach (the saccade-and-reach condition), according to visual instructions. 2. Among 106 SEF neurons that showed presaccadic activity, more than one-half of them (54%) were active preferentially under the saccade-only condition (n = 12) or under the saccade-and-reach condition (n = 45), while the remaining 49 neurons were equally active in both conditions. 3. By contrast, most (97%) of the 109 neurons in the FEF exhibited approximately equal activity in relation to saccades under the two conditions. 4. The present results suggest the possibility that SEF neurons, at least in part, are involved in signaling whether the motor task is oculomotor or combined eye-arm movements, whereas FEF neurons are mostly related to oculomotor control.

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