Role of the calcarine cortex (V1) in perception of visual cues for saccades

S. Lalli, Z. Hussain, A. Ayub, R. Q. Cracco, I. Bodis-Wollner, V. E. Amassian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the initial level at which the pathways for cue perception, saccades and antisaccades diverge. Methods: Two procedures: single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (sTMS) over posterior occiput and backward masking were used. A visual cue directed saccades to the left or right, either a pro-saccade (to the side of the cue but beyond it) or an antisaccade, i.e., contraversive saccade. No visual target was presented. Results: Latencies of the two types of saccades did not differ. Focal sTMS applied unilaterally over V1 suppressed both perception of a cue flashed 80-90 ms earlier contralaterally (but not ipsilaterally) and the appropriate saccade. Masking at a delay of 100 ms abolished the appropriate saccade and cue perception. Conclusions: V1 is essential for the perception of a flashed cue and for executing appropriate pro- and contraversive saccades. Masking may occur beyond V1, where the pathways for perception and for saccades at least to the next visual processing level start separating. Significance: VI is needed for rapid, accurate perceptual and motor responses to the crudest (left versus right) cues. It is unlikely that the "where" system can have a major direct input bypassing V1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2030-2038
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Contraversive saccades
  • Masking
  • Pro-saccades
  • TMS
  • V1
  • Visual cortex


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