Evidence for three-dimensional cortical control of gaze from epileptic patients

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Abstract

Electrophysiological studies in primates indicate that the eye fields of the cerebral hemispheres control gaze in three-dimensional space, and contain neurons that encode both conjugate (versive) and vergence eye movements. Two patients with epilepsy who exhibited disconjugate contraversive horizontal eye movements are described, one during electrical stimulation of the frontal eye fields and the other during focal seizures. We postulate that these eye movements resulted from combined contralateral version and vergence, and suggest that human cortical eye fields also govern visual search in a three-dimensional world, shifting the point of fixation between targets lying in different directions and at different depths.

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