Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
We examined the effects of chronic unilateral lesions to either the inferior parietal lobe, or to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex including the frontal eye fields (FEFs), upon human visual perception and saccades in temporal-order-judgment (TOJ) tasks. Two visual events were presented on each trial, one in each hemifield at various stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). In the saccade task, patients moved their eyes to whichever stimulus attracted gaze first. In the perceptual-manual task, they pressed a button to indicate which stimulus was perceived first. Frontal patients showed appropriate TOJs for visual targets in both tasks. Parietal patients showed appropriate TOJs in the perceptual-manual but not the saccade task; their saccades tended to be ipsilesional unless the contralesional target led substantially. This reveals a bias in saccade choice after parietal damage that cannot be attributed to deficient visual perception. These results challenge previous claims that only anterior lesions produce motoric spatial biases in humans. However, they are in accord with recent neurophysiological evidence for parietal involvement in saccade generation, and also with suggestions that visuomotor transformations in the parietal lobe serving direct spatial motor responses can dissociate from conscious perception as indicated by indirect arbitrary responses.