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Left-Lateralized Contributions of Saccades to Cortical Activity during a One-Back Word Recognition Task

By Yu-Cherng C Chang, Sheraz Khan, Samu Taulu, Gina Kuperberg, Emery N Brown, Matti S. Hämäläinen, Simona Temereanca

Posted 23 Dec 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/211177 (published DOI: 10.3389/fncir.2018.00038)

Saccadic eye movements are an inherent component of natural reading, yet their contribution to information processing at subsequent fixation remains elusive. Here we use anatomically-constrained magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine cortical activity following saccades as healthy human subjects engaged in a one-back word recognition task. This activity was compared with activity following external visual stimulation that mimicked saccades. A combination of procedures were employed to eliminate saccadic ocular artifacts from the MEG signal. Both saccades and saccade-like external visual stimulation produced early-latency responses beginning ~70 ms after onset in occipital cortex and spreading through the ventral and dorsal visual streams to temporal, parietal and frontal cortices. Robust differential activity following the onset of saccades versus similar external visual stimulation emerged during 150-350 ms in a left-lateralized cortical network. This network included (i) left lateral occipitotemporal and nearby inferotemporal cortex, (ii) left posterior Sylvian fissure and nearby multimodal cortex, and (iii) medial parietooccipital, posterior cingulate and retrosplenial cortices. Moreover, this left-lateralized network colocalized with word repetition priming effects. Together, results suggest that central saccadic mechanisms influence a left-lateralized language network in occipitotemporal and temporal cortex above and beyond saccadic influences at preceding stages of information processing during visual word recognition.

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