Abstract

Physiological and behavioral data reported here show an involvement of the primate frontal eye field (FEF) cortex in smooth-pursuit eye movements, in addition to its well-established role in saccadic eye movements. Microstimulation just ventral to the small saccade representation of the FEF elicits eye movements that, in contrast to elicited saccades, have low velocities, con tinue smoothly without interruption during prolonged stimulation, and are usually directed ipsilaterally to the stimulated hemisphere. Neurons in this region respond in association with smooth-pursuit eye movements and visual motion. Tracking deficits following experimental lesions of the FEF depend critically upon the status of this ventral region: superficial lesions sparing it leave smooth-pursuit eye movements intact, whereas lesions removing it produce substantial deficits in the anticipatory initiation, motion-induced acceleration, asymptotic velocity, and predictive continuation of ipsilateral smooth pursuit.

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