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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Apr;956:264-72.

Neural mechanisms for the control of vergence eye movements.

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Vision Science Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294, USA.


Our recent studies in non-human primates have identified and characterized cerebro-ponto-cerebellar pathways involved in the control of vergence eye movements. Specifically, within the deep cerebellar nuclei and nucleus reticularis tegmenti pontis, we have identified neurons that are related to either the near response (convergence and increased ocular accommodation) or the far response (divergence and decreased ocular accommodation). In addition, within the prearcuate region (area 8a), we have characterized neurons related not only to either the far response or the near response, but also to the sensorimotor transformations underlying these eye movements. Because the vergence-related prearcuate region abuts the frontal eye fields, we suggest that the extent of the frontal eye fields be expanded to include this region. We further suggest that with inclusion of this vergence-related region, the frontal eye fields are important for all voluntary eye movements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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