Last update: September 16, 2022
By BrainMatters


Frontal Eye Field (FEF) is responsible for controlling your eyes when following a moving object, or looking for a new fixation point.


FEF is involved in visual attention and in moving your eyes. It involves two different kinds of eye movements. The first kind consists of following moving images or objects. The second type of eye movements are voluntary movements to find a new fixation point. These movements take place when, for example, reading a book or looking at a photograph.


The FEF is part of the premotor area (PMA). This is part of Brodmann area 8 and is located between the primary motor cortex and the prefrontal cortex. The FEF works together with the supplementary eye fields (SEF), the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and the superior colliculus (SC).


The FEF has a topographic layout. This means that the representations are arranged according to a retinotopic map. It means that areas that are close together on the retina (the back of the eye) are also close together in the brain.


When the FEF is damaged, the eyes can no longer be directed to move quickly. It is then slower to scan the environment, reading is slower and it is difficult to follow a moving object.

Author: Myrthe Princen (translated by Thomas von Rein)

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