The contraction of the extra-ocular muscles, during the execution of saccades, produces a strong electric potential in the EEG called the saccadic spike potential (SP). At the frequency spectrum, this SP manifests as a broadband response with most of its power at the gamma-band frequencies. Saccadic activity is known to follow a time-pattern of repression (at around 50-150 ms post stimulus) which is followed by a large increase in saccadic rate at around 200-300 ms post stimulus. Due to this temporal pattern relative to the stimulus, and to the appearance of a SP at each saccade, this increase in saccadic rate shows up after averaging as an increase in gamma-band activity at the time-range of 200-300 ms. Thus, the broadband-transient "induced gamma-band response" frequently reported in the EEG literature, is in fact a "gamma-imposter", due to ocular myographic activity, and not to neural activity. Previous findings regarding the scalp EEG broadband-transient induced gamma-band response, relating it to neural synchronization and to various cognitive functions should be reevaluated considering the systematic contamination by ocular activity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgment This work was supported by grant 102–08–09 from the National Institute of Psychobiology in Israel, founded by the Charles E. Smith Foundation to LYD. Alon Keren, Orr Tomer and Israel Nelken had major contributions to the original study on which much of this note is based (Yuval-Greenberg et al. 2008).
- Eye tracking
- Spike potential