Using Eye Movements To Probe Brain Function And Dysfunction
Saccadic eye movements are controlled by
a network of brain areas that span frontal and parietal cortices,
basal ganglia, thalamus, midbrain, brainstem, and cerebellum.
Thus, the eye movement system provides an excellent model to
probe normal brain function and development, as well as dysfunction
that arises in a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders.
In this talk, MUNOZ will discuss results from monkey neurophysiology
experiments, human functional imaging experiments, and behavioural
experiments involving various patient groups to show how the
eye movement system can be used as a tool to study brain function
and dysfunction. The talk will focus on the use of the
anti-saccade task as an experimental tool because this task requires
voluntary control over the eye movement system and provides a
measure of impulse control. Monkey neurophysiological
experiments are used to identify critical elements in the neural
circuitry required to perform the task correctly. Functional
brain imaging experiments are used to identify critical elements
of the circuit in normal humans. Finally, studies of patient
groups, especially attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder,
are used to reveal how task performance is compromised when
part of the network is dysfunctional.