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      Frontal Non-Invasive Neurostimulation Modulates Antisaccade Preparation in Non-Human Primates

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          Abstract

          A combination of oculometric measurements, invasive electrophysiological recordings and microstimulation have proven instrumental to study the role of the Frontal Eye Field (FEF) in saccadic activity. We hereby gauged the ability of a non-invasive neurostimulation technology, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), to causally interfere with frontal activity in two macaque rhesus monkeys trained to perform a saccadic antisaccade task. We show that online single pulse TMS significantly modulated antisaccade latencies. Such effects proved dependent on TMS site (effects on FEF but not on an actively stimulated control site), TMS modality (present under active but not sham TMS on the FEF area), TMS intensity (intensities of at least 40% of the TMS machine maximal output required), TMS timing (more robust for pulses delivered at 150 ms than at 100 post target onset) and visual hemifield (relative latency decreases mainly for ipsilateral AS). Our results demonstrate the feasibility of using TMS to causally modulate antisaccade-associated computations in the non-human primate brain and support the use of this approach in monkeys to study brain function and its non-invasive neuromodulation for exploratory and therapeutic purposes.

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          Most cited references 54

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          Selective gating of visual signals by microstimulation of frontal cortex.

          Several decades of psychophysical and neurophysiological studies have established that visual signals are enhanced at the locus of attention. What remains a mystery is the mechanism that initiates biases in the strength of visual representations. Recent evidence argues that, during spatial attention, these biases reflect nascent saccadic eye movement commands. We examined the functional interaction of saccade preparation and visual coding by electrically stimulating sites within the frontal eye fields (FEF) and measuring its effect on the activity of neurons in extrastriate visual cortex. Here we show that visual responses in area V4 could be enhanced after brief stimulation of retinotopically corresponding sites within the FEF using currents below that needed to evoke saccades. The magnitude of the enhancement depended on the effectiveness of receptive field stimuli as well as on the presence of competing stimuli outside the receptive field. Stimulation of non-corresponding FEF representations could suppress V4 responses. The results suggest that the gain of visual signals is modified according to the strength of spatially corresponding eye movement commands.
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            Noninvasive human brain stimulation.

            Noninvasive brain stimulation with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is valuable in research and has potential therapeutic applications in cognitive neuroscience, neurophysiology, psychiatry, and neurology. TMS allows neurostimulation and neuromodulation, while tDCS is a purely neuromodulatory application. TMS and tDCS allow diagnostic and interventional neurophysiology applications, and focal neuropharmacology delivery. However, the physics and basic mechanisms of action remain incompletely explored. Following an overview of the history and current applications of noninvasive brain stimulation, we review stimulation device design principles, the electromagnetic and physical foundations of the techniques, and the current knowledge about the electrophysiologic basis of the effects. Finally, we discuss potential biomedical and electrical engineering developments that could lead to more effective stimulation devices, better suited for the specific applications.
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              Primate frontal eye fields. II. Physiological and anatomical correlates of electrically evoked eye movements.

              We studied single neurons in the frontal eye fields of awake macaque monkeys and compared their activity with the saccadic eye movements elicited by microstimulation at the sites of these neurons. Saccades could be elicited from electrical stimulation in the cortical gray matter of the frontal eye fields with currents as small as 10 microA. Low thresholds for eliciting saccades were found at the sites of cells with presaccadic activity. Presaccadic neurons classified as visuomovement or movement were most associated with low (less than 50 microA) thresholds. High thresholds (greater than 100 microA) or no elicited saccades were associated with other classes of frontal eye field neurons, including neurons responding only after saccades and presaccadic neurons, classified as purely visual. Throughout the frontal eye fields, the optimal saccade for eliciting presaccadic neural activity at a given recording site predicted both the direction and amplitude of the saccades that were evoked by microstimulation at that site. In contrast, the movement fields of postsaccadic cells were usually different from the saccades evoked by stimulation at the sites of such cells. We defined the low-threshold frontal eye fields as cortex yielding saccades with stimulation currents less than or equal to 50 microA. It lies along the posterior portion of the arcuate sulcus and is largely contained in the anterior bank of that sulcus. It is smaller than Brodmann's area 8 but corresponds with the union of Walker's cytoarchitectonic areas 8A and 45. Saccade amplitude was topographically organized across the frontal eye fields. Amplitudes of elicited saccades ranged from less than 1 degree to greater than 30 degrees. Smaller saccades were evoked from the ventrolateral portion, and larger saccades were evoked from the dorsomedial portion. Within the arcuate sulcus, evoked saccades were usually larger near the lip and smaller near the fundus. Saccade direction had no global organization across the frontal eye fields; however, saccade direction changed in systematic progressions with small advances of the microelectrode, and all contralateral saccadic directions were often represented in a single electrode penetration down the bank of the arcuate sulcus. Furthermore, the direction of change in these progressions periodically reversed, allowing particular saccade directions to be multiply represented in nearby regions of cortex.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2012
                6 June 2012
                : 7
                : 6
                PONE-D-12-00686
                10.1371/journal.pone.0038674
                3368878
                22701691
                Valero-Cabre et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Counts
                Pages: 11
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology
                Anatomy and Physiology
                Neurological System
                Model Organisms
                Animal Models
                Macaque
                Neuroscience
                Animal Cognition
                Behavioral Neuroscience
                Cognitive Neuroscience
                Neuroanatomy
                Neuroethology
                Neurophysiology
                Medicine
                Neurology
                Cognitive Neurology

                Uncategorized

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