Crawford, Trevor J. and Broerse, Annelies (2001) Recent Saccadic Eye Movement Research Uncovers Patterns of Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia. Journal of Advances in Schizophrenia and Brain Research, 3 (2). pp. 48-52. ISSN 1461-0035
The frontal cortex and the subcortical areas of the brain play a major role in the control of thought and action. Eye movements are increasingly used in neuropsychological research to explore the executive and sensorimotor functions of such neural networks. This interface links the control of action, at the fundamental levels of neurophysiological and neurochemical processes, with the high-level cognitive operations that underlie visual orienting. Patients with schizophrenia have neurocognitive impairments that can be readily investigated with novel saccadic eye movement paradigms. Animal, human lesion, and neuroimaging studies have identified the cerebral centers that underlie saccadic eye movements. The areas of the prefrontal cortex include the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the frontal eye fields, the supplementary eye fields, and the anterior cingulate gyrus. Pathology of saccadic eye movements therefore provides information on the functional status of the underlying neural circuitry in brain disorders such as schizophrenia.
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