We compared the effects of intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) of the lateral wall of the intraparietal sulcus (LIP) with those of ICMS of the frontal eye field (FEF) on monkeys performing oculomotor tasks. When ICMS was applied during a task that involved fixation, contraversive saccades evoked in the LIP and FEF appeared similar. When ICMS was applied to the FEF at the onset of voluntary saccades, the evoked saccades collided with the ongoing voluntary saccade so that the trajectory of voluntary saccade was compensated by the stimulus. Thus the resultant saccade was redirected and came close to the endpoint of saccades evoked from the fixation point before the start of voluntary saccade. In contrast, when ICMS was applied to the LIP at the onset of voluntary saccades, the resultant saccade followed a trajectory that was different from that evoked from the FEF. In that case, the colliding saccades were redirected toward an endpoint that was close to the endpoint of saccades evoked when animals were already fixating at the target of the voluntary saccade. This finding suggests that the colliding saccade was directed toward an endpoint calculated with reference to the target of the voluntary saccade. We hypothesize that, shortly before initiation of voluntary saccades, a dynamic process occurs in the LIP so that the reference point for calculating the saccade target shifts from the fixation point to the target of a voluntary saccade. Such predictive updating of reference points seems useful for immediate reprogramming of upcoming saccades that can occur in rapid succession.
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