Research Topic

Eye movement-related brain activity during perceptual and cognitive processing

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The recording and analysis of electrical brain activity associated with eye movements has a history of several decades. While the early attempts were primarily focused on uncovering the brain mechanisms of eye movements, more recent approaches use eye movements as markers of the ongoing brain activity to ...

The recording and analysis of electrical brain activity associated with eye movements has a history of several decades. While the early attempts were primarily focused on uncovering the brain mechanisms of eye movements, more recent approaches use eye movements as markers of the ongoing brain activity to investigate perceptual and cognitive processes.

This recent approach of segmenting brain activity based on eye movement behavior has several important advantages. First, the eye movement system is closely related to cognitive functions such as perception, attention and memory. This is not surprising since eye movements provide the easiest and the most accurate way to extract information from our visual environment and the eye movement system largely determines what information is selected for further processing. The eye movement-based segmentation offers a great way to study brain activity in relation to these processes. Second, on the methodological level, eye movements constitute a natural marker to segment the ongoing brain activity. This overcomes the problem of introducing artificial markers such as ones for stimulus presentation or response execution that are typical for a lab-based research. This opens possibilities to study brain activity during self-paced perceptual and cognitive behavior under naturalistic conditions such as free exploration of scenes. Third, by relating eye movement behavior to the ongoing brain activity it is possible to see how perceptual and cognitive processes unfold in time, being able to predict how brain activity eventually leads to behavior.

This research topic welcomes contributions using electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, electrocorticography, local field potentials and neuronal unit recording associated with eye movements in humans and animals. Other methods, such as fMRI, PET and NIRS, employing eye movements as markers to model brain activation are also within the scope of this topic. We ask for researchers from different fields to submit reviews, empirical and technical papers demonstrating the benefits of the combined investigation of brain activity and eye movements.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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