Neural plasticity of saccade-related brain regions following repeated exposure to eye movement tasks
Dyckman, Kara Abad
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The purpose of the present study was to determine whether changes in brain function during saccadic tasks could be observed after participants practiced eye movement tasks for one week. Although the behavioral effects of practice were unclear, there were particular saccaderelated brain areas that showed changes across time; not all changes were in the same direction. Specifically, during the prosaccade/antisaccade alternations, decreased BOLD signal contrast was observed in SEF, bilateral FEF, and PEF during the second test session when compared to the first. In PFC, however, BOLD signal contrast increased over time. In addition, during fixation/antisaccade alternations, signal changes were observed in ACC and precuneus in the antisaccade practice group only. Changes across time in these two regions occurred in the absence of changes in behavioral performance. These results suggest that changes in brain activity may be apparent before changes in behavior can be measured.