We assessed the effects of varying the time at which electrical stimulation was delivered to the dorsomedial frontal cortex (DMFC) and the frontal eye fields (FEF) relative to the onset of a visual target. Monkeys were required to fixate the visual target to obtain a drop of apple juice as reward. We found that the probability of eliciting saccades increased with increases in the delay of electrical stimulation relative to target onset. Also, the current threshold to evoke saccades decreased as electrical stimulation was delivered later following target onset. There were major differences in the magnitude of this effect with stimulation of the DMFC versus the FEF. The current threshold to evoke saccades from the DMFC was 16 times greater when electrical stimulation was delivered 200 ms after target onset as compared to when it was delayed 200 ms after target offset. In contrast, the current threshold to evoke saccades from the FEFs was only three times greater when stimulation was delivered under similar conditions. These results suggest that the FEF are more closely connected with the saccade generator for the execution of saccadic eye movements than is the DMFC, even though both regions have direct projections to brainstem oculomotor centres.
European Journal of Neuroscience – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 1999
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