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Muriel Dysli, Fabian Keller, Mathias Abegg; Acute onset incomitant image disparity modifies saccadic and vergence eye movements. Journal of Vision 2015;15(3):12. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/15.3.12.
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New-onset impairment of ocular motility will cause incomitant strabismus, i.e., a gaze-dependent ocular misalignment. This ocular misalignment will cause retinal disparity, that is, a deviation of the spatial position of an image on the retina of both eyes, which is a trigger for a vergence eye movement that results in ocular realignment. If the vergence movement fails, the eyes remain misaligned, resulting in double vision. Adaptive processes to such incomitant vergence stimuli are poorly understood. In this study, we have investigated the physiological oculomotor response of saccadic and vergence eye movements in healthy individuals after shifting gaze from a viewing position without image disparity into a field of view with increased image disparity, thus in conditions mimicking incomitance. Repetitive saccadic eye movements into a visual field with increased stimulus disparity lead to a rapid modification of the oculomotor response: (a) Saccades showed immediate disconjugacy (p < 0.001) resulting in decreased retinal image disparity at the end of a saccade. (b) Vergence kinetics improved over time (p < 0.001). This modified oculomotor response enables a more prompt restoration of ocular alignment in new-onset incomitance.
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