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James J. Harrison, Tom C. A. Freeman, Petroc Sumner; Saccadic compensation for reflexive optokinetic nystagmus just as good as compensation for volitional pursuit. Journal of Vision 2015;15(1):24. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/15.1.24.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The natural viewing behavior of moving observers ideally requires target-selecting saccades to be coordinated with automatic gaze-stabilizing eye movements such as optokinetic nystagmus. However, it is unknown whether saccade plans can compensate for reflexive movement of the eye during the variable saccade latency period, and it is unclear whether reflexive nystagmus is even accompanied by extraretinal signals carrying the eye movement information that could potentially underpin such compensation. We show that saccades do partially compensate for optokinetic nystagmus that displaces the eye during the saccade latency period. Moreover, this compensation is as good as for displacements due to voluntary smooth pursuit. In other words, the saccade system appears to be as well coordinated with reflexive nystagmus as it is with volitional pursuit, which in turn implies that extraretinal signals accompany nystagmus and are just as informative as those accompanying pursuit.
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