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Frontal-parietal activation differences observed before the execution of remembered saccades: an event-related potentials study

I Evdokimidis, N Smyrnis, T S Constantinidis, P Gourtzelidis, C Papageorgiou
Brain Research. Cognitive Brain Research 2001, 12 (1): 89-99
11489612
Healthy subjects performed saccadic eye movements in one memory (MEM) and two delay tasks (delay, DEL and modified delay, M-DEL) while we recorded scalp event-related potentials (ERPs) from 25 electrode sites. In the MEM task the subjects were instructed to retain in memory the location of a visual target for a delay of 1-6 s and then perform a remembered saccade at the go signal. In the DEL task the target remained on until movement completion and in the M-DEL task the target, that was visible during the delay period, disappeared synchronously with the go signal. A reduction in response latency and an increase in the percentage of dysmetric movements were observed for the MEM task compared to the two delay tasks. An increased ERP activity at the central-frontal electrode sites compared to the parietal sites was significant only for the MEM task early on during the delay period (500-1000 ms). During the period preceding the onset of the saccade, a parietal increase of activity was observed for all tasks. Furthermore the activity was smaller for the frontal compared to the parietal areas only for the memory task thus indicating a near reversal of the previous pattern of activity observed during the early delay period. This specific activation pattern of frontal and parietal areas, observed for the MEM task only, requires further investigation focusing on the temporal pattern of activation of large brain areas involved in working memory processing.

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