Tzelepi, A.; Laskaris, N.; Amditis, A. & Kapoula, Z.
"[B]Cortical activity preceding vertical saccades: A MEG study[/B]", Brain Res, 2010.
Iris group, LPPA CNRS-Collège de France, Paris, France; ICCS, National Technical University of Athens, Greece.
Previous studies have shown that upward saccade latencies are faster than downward saccade latencies in certain tasks. This asymmetry does not appear to represent a general main effect of the visual, or the vertical oculomotor system. In this study we examined the cortical activity underlying this latency asymmetry. We used MEG to assess cortical activity related to horizontal and vertical saccade preparation, and eye movement recordings to assess saccade latencies in a modified delay task. The reconstructed cortical activity was examined with respect to the onset of the target stimulus and the onset of the saccade. Upward saccades were faster than downward saccades, in agreement with previous studies. Although to a large extent, horizontal and vertical targets activated similar areas, there were also some differences. The earlier difference was found 100-150ms after target onset over the right supramarginal gyrus when subjects attended to location-cues. Down cues activated this area faster than up cues. Moreover, cue-related activity was stronger over the left frontal cortex for up than down cues. In contrast, saccade-related activity over the same area was stronger when preceding downward than upward saccades. The results suggest that stimuli in the upper and lower visual field may have different impact on accessing networks related to visual attention and motor preparation resulting in different behavioral asymmetries.