Neural basis of visually guided head movements studied with fMRI

Laurent Petit, Michael S. Beauchamp
Journal of Neurophysiology. 2003-05-01; 89(5): 2516-2527
DOI: 10.1152/jn.00988.2002

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1. J Neurophysiol. 2003 May;89(5):2516-27. Epub 2003 Jan 29.

Neural basis of visually guided head movements studied with fMRI.

Petit L(1), Beauchamp MS.

Author information:
(1)Groupe d’Imagerie Neurofonctionnelle, Unité Mixte de Recherche6095, Centre
National de la Recherche Scientifique-Commissariat à la Energie
Atomique-Université de Caen et Université Paris 5, Centre Cyceron, Caen, France.

We used event-related fMRI to measure brain activity while subjects performed
saccadic eye, head, and gaze movements to visually presented targets. Two
distinct patterns of response were observed. One set of areas was equally active
during eye, head, and gaze movements and consisted of the superior and inferior
subdivisions of the frontal eye fields, the supplementary eye field, the
intraparietal sulcus, the precuneus, area MT in the lateral occipital sulcus and
subcortically in basal ganglia, thalamus, and the superior colliculus. These
areas have been previously observed in functional imaging studies of human eye
movements, suggesting that a common set of brain areas subserves both oculomotor
and head movement control in humans, consistent with data from single-unit
recording and microstimulation studies in nonhuman primates that have described
overlapping eye- and head-movement representations in oculomotor control areas. A
second set of areas was active during head and gaze movements but not during eye
movements. This set of areas included the posterior part of the planum temporale
and the cortex at the temporoparietal junction, known as the parieto-insular
vestibular cortex (PIVC). Activity in PIVC has been observed during imaging
studies of invasive vestibular stimulation, and we confirm its role in processing
the vestibular cues accompanying natural head movements. Our findings demonstrate
that fMRI can be used to study the neural basis of head movements and show that
areas that control eye movements also control head movements. In addition, we
provide the first evidence for brain activity associated with vestibular input
produced by natural head movements as opposed to invasive caloric or galvanic
vestibular stimulation.

DOI: 10.1152/jn.00988.2002
PMID: 12611944 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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