Behavioral and neural correlates of poor saccadic control in healthy undergraduates
Amlung, Michael Thomas
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Correct antisaccade (AS) performance requires inhibition of a reflexive glance to a peripheral visual cue and generation of a saccade to its mirror image location. Patients with schizophrenia make an increased proportion of AS errors which are associated with prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction. It is uncertain whether this relationship is specific to schizophrenia, or if decreased PFC activity is associated with increased AS errors in non-clinical samples. This study examined brain activation in two samples of healthy undergraduates who were selected based on good and poor AS performance. AS generation was associated with robust activity in the well-defined saccade circuitry that included bilateral PFC. Poor performers, however, had decreased BOLD activation in areas known to support inhibition and working memory. These data suggest that healthy people who show compromised inhibitory control may be more likely to show evidence of disregulation of PFC-mediated circuitry under conditions of increased task demand.