Abstract

Neurophysiological studies in non-human primates have identified saccade-related neuronal activity in cortical regions including frontal (FEF), supplementary (SEF) and parietal eye fields. Lesion and neuroimaging studies suggest a generally homologous mapping of the oculomotor system in humans; however, a detailed mapping of the precise anatomical location of these functional regions has not yet been achieved. We investigated dorsal frontal and parietal cortex during a saccade task vs. central fixation in 10 adult subjects using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The FEF were restricted to the precentral sulcus, and did not extend anteriorly into Brodmann area 8, which has traditionally been viewed as their location in humans. The SEF were located in cortex along the interhemispheric fissure and extended minimally onto the dorsal cortical surface. Parietal activation was seen in precuneus and along the intraparietal sulcus, extending into both superior and inferior parietal lobules. These findings localize areas in frontal and parietal cortex involved in saccade generation in humans, and indicate significant differences from the macaque monkey in both frontal and parietal cortex. These differences may have functional implications for the roles these areas play in visuomotor processes.