Microsaccade is a type of fixational eye movements that is modulated by various sensory and cognitive processes, and impact our visual perception. Although studies in monkeys have demonstrated a functional role for the superior colliculus and frontal eye field (FEF) in controlling microsaccades, our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying the generation of microsaccades is still limited. By applying continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) over the right FEF and the vertex, we investigated the role of the FEF in generating human microsaccade responses evoked by salient stimuli or by changes in background luminance. We observed higher microsaccade rates prior to target appearance, and larger rebound in microsaccade occurrence following salient stimuli, when disruptive cTBS was applied over FEF compared to vertex stimulation. Moreover, the microsaccade direction modulation after changes in background luminance was disrupted with FEF stimulation. Together, our results constitute the first evidence of FEF modulation in human microsaccade responses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108202
JournalBiological Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • cTBS
  • Pupil light reflex
  • Saccade preparation
  • Saccades
  • Superior colliculus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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