Psychophysiology. 2013 Apr;50(4):325-33.
Cognitive control is required for correct antisaccade performance. High antisaccade error rates characterize certain psychiatric disorders, but can be highly variable, even among healthy groups. The present study examined differences in brain activation corresponding to variation in antisaccade task performance by acquiring functional MRI. A large sample of healthy undergraduates (n = 296) performed antisaccades while their eye movements were recorded. From this sample, a distribution of performance was generated in order to identify good and poor performing subsets. After testing for performance reliability, good and poor performers returned to complete the antisaccade task while fMRI images were acquired. A hybrid independent component analysis (ICA) was used to compare good and poor performers across blocks of antisaccade trials. To test for differential patterns of activation between trials, good and poor performers were compared on correct and error trials separately. Results indicated differential activation in frontal and parietal regions between good and poor performers. These findings suggest that a failure to recruit frontal and parietal regions involved in top-down control corresponds to poor antisaccade performance in healthy young adults.