OBJECTIVE--To determine the roles of the putamen and pallidum in ocular motor control. METHODS--Eye movements were recorded electro-oculographically in nine patients with bilateral focal lesions affecting the lentiform nucleus, and in 12 age matched control subjects. Reflexive visually guided saccades (gap task), antisaccades, memorised sequences of saccades, memory guided saccades (with visual input only, and with both visual and vestibular inputs), and predictive saccades (with and without gap) were studied. RESULTS--Latency and accuracy of visually guided saccades were normal. The percentage of errors in the antisaccade task and latency of correct antisaccades did not differ significantly from the results of controls. The percentage of errors in saccade sequences was significantly increased. Accuracy of the two types of memory guided saccades was impaired bilaterally. The percentage of predictive saccades was significantly decreased when a gap existed, but unchanged without a gap, compared with controls. Therefore, saccades made immediately in response to an external target (reflexive visually guided saccades and antisaccades) were performed without difficulty, whereas those requiring an internal representation of such a target (such as memory guided saccades, predictive saccades, and saccade sequences) were performed with significant disturbances. CONCLUSIONS--The lentiform nucleus influences the cortical areas involved in the control of saccades when the experimental paradigm requires the use of an internal representation of the target for correct planning and execution of the ensuing saccade.
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