1. This project tests the behavioral effects of reversible activation and inactivation of sites within the frontal eye field of rhesus monkeys with microinjections of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-related drugs bicuculline and muscimol. 2. Muscimol injections impaired the monkeys' ability to make both visually and memory-guided saccades to targets at the center of the area represented by the injection site. The latencies of saccades to targets in regions flanking the injection were increased. For memory-guided saccades, saccades in the direction opposite to that represented by the injection site, were made with shorter latency than controls and often occurred before the movement cue. 3. Bicuculline injections produced irrepressible saccades equivalent to the saccade vector represented by the injection site, often in a staircase of several closely spaced movements. 4. Both substances decreased the accuracy of fixation of a central light. The distribution of points of fixation on different trials was diffuse, and the angle of gaze tended to deviate towards the side of the injection. 5. The results of these acute injections are similar to those observed in the superior colliculus and are much more substantial than the effects observed in the long term after surgical removal of the frontal eye field. The results of this study promote a central role for the frontal eye field in the generation of all voluntary saccades and in the control of fixation.
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