An oculomotor representation area within the ventral premotor cortex

Naotaka Fujii, Hajime Mushiake, Jun Tanji

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57 Citations (Scopus)


We explored the ventral part of the premotor cortex (PMV) with intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) while monkeys performed a visual fixation task, to see whether the PMV is involved in oculomotor control. ICMS evoked saccades from a small-restricted region in the PMV, without evoking movements in the limbs, neck, or body. We found the saccade-evoking site in the PMV in a total of three hemispheres in two monkeys. Quantitative analysis of the effects of eye position on saccades evoked by microstimulation of the PMV characterized the evoked saccades as goal directed. The nature of the saccades evoked in the PMV contrasted with the fixed vector nature of saccades evoked by ICMS of the frontal eye field. We also found that neurons in this restricted area of the PMV were active while the animals were performing a saccade task that required them to make saccades toward targets without arm movements. These data provide evidence for the presence of an oculomotor-specific subregion within the PMV. This subregion and the surrounding skeletomotor-representing regions of the PMV seem to coordinate oculomotor and skeletomotor control in performing goal-directed motor tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12034-12037
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Sept 29


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