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J Vis. 2009 Dec 2;9(13):1.1-11. doi: 10.1167/9.13.1.

Task influences on the dynamic properties of fast eye movements.

Author information

1
Department of Neurophysics, Philipps-University Marburg, Germany. andre.kaminiarz@physik.uni-marburg.de

Abstract

It is widely debated whether fast phases of the reflexive optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) share properties with another class of fast eye movements, visually guided saccades. Conclusions drawn from previous studies were complicated by the fact that a subject's task influences the exact type of OKN: stare vs. look nystagmus. With our current study we set out to determine in the same subjects the exact dynamic properties (main sequence) of various forms of fast eye movements. We recorded fast phases of look and stare nystagmus as well as visually guided saccades. Our data clearly show that fast phases of look and stare nystagmus differ with respect to their main sequence. Fast phases of stare nystagmus were characterized by their lower peak velocities and longer durations as compared to fast phases of look nystagmus. Furthermore we found no differences between fast phases of stare nystagmus evoked with limited and unlimited dot lifetimes. Visually guided saccades were on the same main sequence as fast phases of look nystagmus, while they had higher peak velocities and shorter durations than fast phases of stare nystagmus. Our data underline the critical role of behavioral tasks (e.g., reflexive vs. intentional) for the exact spatiotemporal characteristics of fast eye movements.

PMID:
20055534
DOI:
10.1167/9.13.1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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