Frontal cortex and flexible control of saccades

Kevin Johnston and Stefan Everling

in The Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199539789
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Frontal cortex and flexible control of saccades

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience



The frontal cortex has been associated with the control of eye movements since the 19th century. More recently, detailed anatomical studies and physiological investigations in awake non-human primates performing sophisticated oculomotor tasks have revealed the existence of a set of distinct interconnected areas within frontal cortex with roles ranging from direct control of saccade initiation, to indirect control driven by cognitive processes and instantiated by modulation of oculomotor structures. Here we review studies of the frontal and supplementary eye fields, prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, and the pre-supplementary motor area in the awake behaving primate which highlight their functional contribution to the control of saccadic eye movements.

Keywords: frontal cortex; oculomotor tasks; cognitive processes; saccadic eye movements; tract tracing

Article.  16606 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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