Distribution of eye- and arm-movement-related neuronal activity in the SEF and in the SMA and pre-SMA of monkeys

Naotaka Fujii, Hajime Mushiake, Jun Tanji

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84 Citations (Scopus)


We analyzed neuronal activity in the supplementary eye field (SEF), supplementary motor area (SMA), and presupplementary motor area (pre-SMA) during the performance of three motor tasks: capturing a visual target with a saccade, reaching one arm to a target while gazing at a visual fixation point, or capturing a target with a saccade and arm-reach together. Our data demonstrated that each area was involved in controlling the arm and eye movements in a different manner. Saccade-related neurons were found mainly in the SEF. In contrast, arm-movement-related neurons were found primarily in the SMA and pre-SMA. In addition, we found that the activity of both arm-movement- and saccade-related neurons differed depending on the presence or absence of an accompanying saccade or arm movement. Such context dependency was found in all three areas. We also discovered that activity preceding eye or arm movement alone, and eye and arm movement combined, appeared more often in the pre-SMA and SEF, suggesting their involvement in effector- independent aspects of motor behavior. Subsequent analysis revealed that the laterality of arm representation differed in the three areas: it was predominantly contralateral in the SMA but largely bilateral in the pre-SMA and SEF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2158-2166
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology


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