Event-related fMRI responses in the human frontal eye fields in a randomized pro- and antisaccade task

FW Cornelissen*, H Kimmig, M Schira, RM Rutschmann, RP Maguire, A Broerse, JA Den Boer, MW Greenlee

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    65 Citations (Scopus)


    We examined whether the frontal eye fields (FEF) are involved in the suppression of reflexive saccades. Simultaneous recording of horizontal eye movements and functional magnetic resonance imaging enabled us to perform a randomized pro- and antisaccade task and to sort blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) time series on the basis of task performance. Saccadic reaction time distributions were comparable across tasks indicating a similar effort in preprocessing of the saccades. Furthermore, we found similar BOLD activation in FEF during both correctly performed pro- and antisaccades. Frontal eye field activation started prior to target presentation and saccade generation. While we observed only few erroneous antisaccades, these were associated with a decrease in BOLD activity prior to target presentation, and increased BOLD activity after target presentation relative to correctly performed antisaccades. These findings are consistent with a role of the FEF in the suppression of reflexive saccades. The increase in activity after target presentation for antisaccade errors can only be indirectly linked to such a role but may also reflect activity related to the generation of a correction saccade. Frontal eye field BOLD activity may further represent general arousal, preparatory set, short-term memory, or salience-map related activity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)270-274
    Number of pages5
    JournalExperimental Brain Research
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun-2001


    • event-related fMRI
    • prosaccades
    • antisaccades
    • frontal eye fields
    • MEMORY

    Cite this