During preparation of horizontal saccades in humans, several lateralized (relative to saccade direction), event-related EEG components occur that have been interpreted as reflecting activity of frontal and parietal eye fields. We investigated to what degree these components are specific to saccade preparation. EEG lateralization was examined within the interval (1 s) between a first (S1) and a second (S2) stimulus, after which a response had to be made (look left or right, or press a button with the left or right index finger). The visual S1 indicated either the direction (left vs right) and/or the effector (eye vs finger), and S2 (visual/auditory in different blocks) added the information not given by S1. An occipital component (220 ms after S1) was effector-independent, probably reflecting processing of the direction code. The following parietotemporal component (320 ms after S1) was specific for direction information. This component seems more relevant for finger movements than for saccades and may reflect a link between visual perception to action. A later frontal component (480 ms after S1) was specific for direction information and may be related to the planning of a lateral movement. One component was entirely specific for the preparation of a finger movement (the lateralized readiness potential before S2). Thus, several different lateralized processes in the S1-S2 interval could be delineated, reflecting hand-specific preparation, processing of the direction code, and the coordination of perception and action, but no components were observed as being specific for saccade preparation.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)