When does the brain inform the eyes whether and where to move? An EEG study in humans

Brett A. Clementz, Shefali B. Brahmbhatt, Jennifer E. McDowell, Ryan Brown, John A. Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The current study addressed when in the course of stimulus processing, and in what brain areas, activity occurs that supports the interpretation of cues that signal the appropriateness of different and competing behaviors. Twelve subjects completed interleaved no-go-, pro-, and antitrials, whereas 64-channel electroencephalography was recorded. Principle component and distributed source analyses were used to evaluate the spatial distribution and time course of cortical activity supporting cue evaluation and response selection. By 158 ms poststimulus, visual cortex activity was lower for no-go trials than it was for both pro- and antitrials, consistent with an early sensory filter on the no-go cue. Prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity at 158 ms was highest during antitrials, consistent with this brain region's putative involvement in executive control. At 204 ms poststimulus, however, PFC activity was the same for pro- and antitrials, consistent with an ostensible role in response selection. PFC activity at 204 ms also was robustly inversely correlated (r = -0.75) with visual cortex activity on antitrials, perhaps indicating top-down modulation of early sensory processing that would decrease the probability of an error response. These data highlight how a distributed neural architecture supports the evaluation of stimuli and response choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2634-2643
Number of pages10
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Antisaccades
  • EEG
  • Executive control
  • No go
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Response selection
  • Saccades

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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