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High-Field fMRI Reveals Brain Activation Patterns Underlying Saccade Execution in the Human Superior Colliculus

Krebs, RM; Woldorff, MG; Tempelmann, C; Bodammer, N; Noesselt, T; Boehler, CN; Scheich, H; ... Schoenfeld, MA; + view all (2010) High-Field fMRI Reveals Brain Activation Patterns Underlying Saccade Execution in the Human Superior Colliculus. PLOS ONE , 5 (1) , Article e8691. 10.1371/journal.pone.0008691. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The superior colliculus (SC) has been shown to play a crucial role in the initiation and coordination of eye-and head-movements. The knowledge about the function of this structure is mainly based on single-unit recordings in animals with relatively few neuroimaging studies investigating eye-movement related brain activity in humans.Methodology/Principal Findings: The present study employed high-field (7 Tesla) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate SC responses during endogenously cued saccades in humans. In response to centrally presented instructional cues, subjects either performed saccades away from (centrifugal) or towards (centripetal) the center of straight gaze or maintained fixation at the center position. Compared to central fixation, the execution of saccades elicited hemodynamic activity within a network of cortical and subcortical areas that included the SC, lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), occipital cortex, striatum, and the pulvinar.Conclusions/Significance: Activity in the SC was enhanced contralateral to the direction of the saccade (i.e., greater activity in the right as compared to left SC during leftward saccades and vice versa) during both centrifugal and centripetal saccades, thereby demonstrating that the contralateral predominance for saccade execution that has been shown to exist in animals is also present in the human SC. In addition, centrifugal saccades elicited greater activity in the SC than did centripetal saccades, while also being accompanied by an enhanced deactivation within the prefrontal default-mode network. This pattern of brain activity might reflect the reduced processing effort required to move the eyes toward as compared to away from the center of straight gaze, a position that might serve as a spatial baseline in which the retinotopic and craniotopic reference frames are aligned.

Type: Article
Title: High-Field fMRI Reveals Brain Activation Patterns Underlying Saccade Execution in the Human Superior Colliculus
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008691
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008691
Language: English
Additional information: © 2010 Krebs et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This work was funded by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG Scho 1217/1-1 and SFB 779 A1) awarded to M.A.S, and from the National Institutes of Health (NIMH R01-MH060415 and NINDS P01-NS41328 Proj. 1) to M.G.W. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Keywords: EVENT-RELATED FMRI, POSTERIOR PARIETAL CORTEX, FRONTAL EYE FIELD, PREPARATION SIGNALS, NEURONAL RESPONSES, LATERAL GENICULATE, FUNCTIONAL-ANATOMY, OCULOMOTOR SYSTEM, SPATIAL ATTENTION, COVERT SHIFTS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/122769
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