Traditionally BA8 has been regarded as the “frontal eye field”. However, functional studies report the participation of BA8 in a wide diversity of functions, including: motor, language, executive functions, memory, and attention. Only two studies refer to its participation in eye movements (horizontal saccadic eye movements). It is very interesting to note the participation of SMA in motor learning, supported by several studies. Usually it is accepted that SMA participates in initiating, maintaining, coordinating and planning complex sequences of movements performed in a particular order. Stimulation of the left SMA has been related to arrest of speech, and its damage to a particular type of language disorder referred as the “aphasia of the SMA” (initial mutism lasting about 2-10 days; virtually total inability to initiate speech; nearly normal speech repetition; normal language understanding; and absence of echolalia). The participation of BA8 in different executive functions (e.g., executive control of behavior, inductive reasoning, and planning) seems evident. BA8 also participates in memory processes, particularly in working memory. Its participation in sequence learning seems evident, but its involvement in response to proprioceptive stimulation, pain anticipation and auditory imagery does not seem so obvious; however, in auditory imagery, the activation of SMA may include rehearsal that involves motor programs.
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