Motor learning in the saccadic oculomotor system revealed through fMRI

Jason Steffener, Tara L. Alvarez, John L. Semmlow, Stanley Reisman, Bharat Biswat

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Understanding how the brain learns an oculomotor task will provide insight to the fundamental mechanism by which the brain performs numerous motor control tasks. The saccadic system, which is responsible for directing our visual attention from one object to another in two dimensional space, exhibits extraordinary speed and accuracy. It has been shown that when a person learns how a target stimulus will change, the oculomotor system's latency decreases and the peak velocity increases. This study used the saccadic system as the model to analyze where in the brain the mechanism associated with oculomotor learning is located. Studies were performed in a 3T Siemans Magnetron MRI system using a box car protocol. The data were analyzed using AFNI. Preliminary data suggest that the activity was similar in the two people studied and is present in the primary visual cortex (V1), the middle temporal area (V5), and the frontal cortex. Based on the experimental protocol there is an increase in activity when the subject could predict the stimulus protocol based on learning, suggesting an increase in activity during this portion of the task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-101
Number of pages2
JournalProceedings of the IEEE Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, NEBEC
StatePublished - 2003
EventProceedings of the IEEE 29th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference - Newark, NJ, United States
Duration: Mar 22 2003Mar 23 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Bioengineering


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