Five patients with lesions involving intra-parietal cortex (IPCx) were tested in a rapid version of the double step paradigm to investigate the role of the IPCx in the rapid, online, updating of a saccade program. Saccades were executed to a single target in either the contra- or the ipsilesional visual field. In two thirds of the trials, a step change in target position required that the saccade shifted to a new location within the same field but in the contra- or the ipsilesional direction, allowing us to investigate whether patients are able to update their saccade program given new exogenous information about the required endpoint of the saccade. This set-up resulted in three types of initial saccades: saccades to the target on no-step trials, uncorrected saccades to the original target location on step trials and corrected saccades to the new target location on step trials. Furthermore, if the updating of the original eye movement program failed, patients performed a second saccade to the new target location that required a rapid error correction. The analysis of the double-step task on a group level indicated that latencies for all trial types were longer when saccades were directed to the contralesional versus the ipsilesional field. Furthermore, longer latencies were required for patients to initiate a corrective second saccade after making an uncorrected first saccade in their contralesional compared to ipsilesional field. There were no differences in the ultimate landing positions of the eye movements for such corrected saccades. These results reveal that deficits in updating of saccade programs only seem to be present if the updating must occur after the gaze has shifted to a new location, pointing to a role of intra-parietal cortex in the processes involved in updating information when the current reference frame has to be updated. In conclusion, the paradigm deployed in the current study allows for a refinement of the role of the intra-parietal cortex in the updating of saccade programs.
|Number of pages||7|
|Early online date||28 Oct 2013|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2013|