A Comparison of Frontoparietal fMRI Activation During Anti-Saccades and Anti-Pointing Academic Article uri icon


  • An anti-saccade, which is a saccade directed toward a mirror-symmetrical position in the opposite visual field relative to the visual stimulus, involves at least three separate operations: covert orienting, response suppression, and coordinate transformation. The distinction between pro- and anti-saccades can also be applied to pointing. We used fMRI to compare patterns of brain activation during pro- and anti-movements, to determine whether or not additional areas become active during the production of anti-movements. In parietal cortex, an inferior network was active during both saccades and pointing that included three foci along the intraparietal sulcus: 1) a posterior superior parietal area (pSPR), more active during the anti-tasks; 2) a middle inferior parietal area (mIPR), active only during the anti-tasks; and 3) an anterior inferior parietal area (aIPR), equally active for pro- and anti-movement. A superior parietal network was active during pointing but not saccades and included the following: 1) a medial region, active during anti- but not pro-pointing (mSPR); 2) an anterior and medial region, more active during pro-pointing (aSPR); and 3) an anterior and lateral region, equally active for pro- and anti-pointing (lSPR). In frontal cortex, areas selectively active during anti-movement were adjacent and anterior to areas that were active during both the anti- and pro-tasks, i.e., were anterior to the frontal eye field and the supplementary motor area. All saccade areas were also active during pointing. In contrast, foci in the dorsal premotor area, the anterior superior frontal region, and anterior cingulate were active during pointing but not saccades. In summary, pointing with central gaze activates a frontoparietal network that includes the saccade network. The operations required for the production of anti-movements recruited additional frontoparietal areas.


publication date

  • September 2000