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Olivier Coubard, Zoï Kapoula, René Müri, Sophie Rivaud-Péchoux; Effects of TMS over the Right Prefrontal Cortex on Latency of Saccades and Convergence. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(2):600-609. doi: 10.1167/iovs.02-0188.
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purpose. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is known to inhibit unwanted saccades through its connections to the superior colliculus (SC). Indeed, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the PFC decreases saccade latency by increasing the rate of express saccades. This study examined whether a similar phenomenon exists for vergence.
methods. In a gap paradigm, six healthy subjects were asked to look at LEDs placed in a horizontal plane and to make lateral saccades, pure convergence along the median plane, and combined eye movements. Eye movements were recorded binocularly. TMS was applied over the right (r)PFC synchronously with the onset of the target. In a control condition, TMS was applied over the motor cortex (MC).
results. TMS over the MC had no effect on the latency of any type of eye movements. In contrast, TMS over the rPFC (1) decreased significantly (P = 0.00367) the latency of contralateral pure saccades, (2) had no effect on the latency of pure convergence, (3) and caused a mild decrease in the latency of both the saccadic and the convergence components of combined eye movements, and the effect was bilateral. Decreased latencies were mainly due to an increase of the rate of express movements.
conclusions. The inhibition exerted by PFC over SC and preventing express movements from occurring is presumably a saccade-specific mechanism. When the saccade is combined with convergence, the express triggering can be transferred to a certain extent to the convergence.
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