Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program

Physiology

Supervisor

Dr. Stefan Everling

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian Comeil

Third Advisor

Dr. Jon Hore

Abstract

The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been implicated in response suppression. This function is frequently investigated with the antisaccade task, which requires suppression of the automatic tendency to look toward a flashed peripheral stimulus (prosaccade) and generation of a voluntary saccade to the mirror location. To test the functional relationship between DLPFC activity and antisaccade performance, we applied electrical microstimulation to the DLPFC of two monkeys while they performed randomly interleaved pro- and anti-saccade trials. Microstimulation increased the number of direction errors and slowed saccadic reaction times (SRTs) on antisaccade trials when the visual stimulus is presented on the side contralateral to the stimulated hemisphere. Also, we observed shorter SRTs for contralateral prosaccades and longer SRTs for ipsilateral prosaccades on microstimulation trials. These findings do not support a role for the DLPFC in response suppression, but suggest a more general role in attentional selection of the contralateral field.

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