Event-related power modulations of brain activity preceding visually guided saccades

Debora Brignani, Claudio Maioli, Paolo Maria Rossini, Carlo Miniussi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To analyze the characteristics of the event-related desynchronization (ERD) and synchronization (ERS) of cortical rhythms during the preparation and execution of a lateralized eye movement, EEG was recorded in normal subjects during a visually guided task. Alpha and beta bands were investigated in three temporal intervals: a sensory period, a delay period and a saccade preparation period time locked with saccade onset. Modulations of ERD/ERS power, coupled with the task, reached the largest amplitudes over the frontal and parieto-occipital regions. Differences of oscillatory activity in the alpha bands revealed an intriguing pattern of asymmetry in parieto-occipital areas. Rightward saccades induced a larger desynchronization with respect to the leftward saccades in the left hemisphere, but not in the right. If representative, these findings are congruent to the established right-hemisphere dominance of the brain areas that direct attention. Moreover differences between the two alpha types emerged in the frontal areas before and during the saccade preparation periods, indicative of differential engagement of these areas depending on the task demands. In conclusion, the present approach shows that planning eye movements is linked with covert orienting of spatial attention and may supply a useful method for studying eye movements and selective attention-related processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 9 2007


  • Alpha rhythm
  • Attention
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS)
  • Eye movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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