The engagement of cortical areas preceding exogenous vergence eye movements

Monika Wojtczak-Kwaśniewska* (Corresponding Author), Anna Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Rob H.J. Van der Lubbe

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Source analyses on event related potentials (ERPs) derived from the electroencephalogram (EEG) were performed to examine the respective roles of cortical areas preceding exogenously triggered saccades, combined convergences, and combined divergences. All eye movements were triggered by the offset of a central fixation light emitting diode (LED) and the onset of a lateral LED at various depths in an otherwise fully darkened room. Our analyses revealed that three source pairs, two located in the frontal lobe–the frontal eye fields (FEF) and an anterior frontal area–, and one located within the occipital cortex, can account for 99.2% of the observed ERPs. Overall, the comparison between source activities revealed the largest activity in the occipital cortex, while no difference in activity between FEF and the anterior frontal area was obtained. For all sources, increased activity was observed for combined vergences, especially combined convergences, relative to saccades. Behavioral results revealed that onset latencies were longest for combined convergences, intermediate for combined divergences, and the shortest for saccades. Together, these findings fit within a perspective in which both occipital and frontal areas play an important role in retinal disparity detection. In the case of saccades and combined divergences stimulus-locked activity was larger than response-locked activity, while no difference between stimulus- and response-locked activity was observed for combined convergences. These findings seem to imply that the electrophysiological activity preceding exogenous eye movements consists of a sensory-related part that is under cortical control, while subcortical structures may be held responsible for final execution.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0198405
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2018


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