Although involvement of the frontoparietal regions in visually guided saccade and visuospatial attention has been established functional difference of the frontal and parietal regions suggested in neuropsychological observations and lesion studies in animals has not been explicitly supported by functional imaging studies. Considering a possible disadvantage of cognitive subtraction in an interregional comparison, we directly compared the time course of BOLD signal changes across regions. Normal subjects performed a modified version of a memory-guided saccade task in which saccade was performed both during encoding and execution phases. In addition, the delay period was fixed and the peripheral target was presented also during the execution phase together with distracters. Therefore, visuospatial representation was likely maintained in the sensory domain during the delay phase. A principal component analysis on the time-course data separated the 20 activated areas into three groups, which largely coincided with the cerebral lobes. The frontal group included the putative human FEF and SEF, and the parietal group PEF. The frontal and occipital groups exhibited the time course of activation with two peaks corresponding to neural responses during the encoding and execution phases, and the parietal group exhibited a single-humped activation pattern corresponding to neural activity during the delay phase. The results suggest that the frontal regions are more associated with the execution of saccade, and the parietal regions with visuospatial representation, presumably in the sensory domain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas