Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 224, Issue 2, pp 567–582 | Cite as

Functional hierarchy of oculomotor and visual motion subnetworks within the human cortical optokinetic system

  • Ria Maxine RuehlEmail author
  • Felix Hoffstaedter
  • Andrew Reid
  • Simon Eickhoff
  • Peter zu Eulenburg
Original Article


Optokinetic look nystagmus (look OKN) is known to engage cortical visual motion and oculomotor hubs. Their functional network hierarchy, however, and the role of the cingulate eye field (CEF) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in particular have not been investigated. We used look OKN in fMRI to identify all cortical visual motion and oculomotor hubs involved. Using these activations as seed regions, we employed hierarchical clustering in two differing resting state conditions from a separate public data set. Robust activations in the CEF highlight its functional role in OKN and involvement in higher order oculomotor control. Deactivation patterns indicate a decreased modulatory involvement of the DLPFC. The hierarchical clustering revealed a changeable organization of the eye fields, hMT, V3A, and V6 depending on the resting state condition, segregating executive from higher order visual subnetworks. Overall, hierarchical clustering seems to allow for a robust delineation of physiological cortical networks.


Cingulate eye field Functional connectivity Hierarchical clustering Ocular motor control Optokinetic nystagmus 



This work was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF 01 EO 0901).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, University HospitalLudwig-Maximilians-University MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders-IFB LMULudwig-Maximilians-University MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-7)JuelichGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Systems Neuroscience, Medical FacultyHeinrich Heine University DüsseldorfDuesseldorfGermany
  5. 5.School of PsychologyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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