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Fixational saccades are more disconjugate in adults than in children.


ABSTRACT: Fixational eye movements are of particular interest for three reasons. They are critical for preventing visual fading and enhancing visual perception; their disconjugacy allows scanning in three dimensions, and their neural correlates span through the cortico-striatal, striato-collicular and brainstem networks. Fixational eye movements are altered in various pediatric ophthalmologic and neurologic disorders. The goal of this study was to compare the dynamics of fixational eye movements in normal children and adults.We measured the fixational saccades and inter-saccadic drifts in eye positions using infrared video-oculography in children and adults. We assessed the frequency, amplitude, main-sequence, and disconjugacy of fixational saccades as well as the intra-saccadic drift velocity and variance between these two groups.We found a similar frequency but an increase in the amplitude of fixational saccades in children compared to adults. We also found that the fixational saccades were more conjugate in children than in adults. The inter-saccadic drifts were comparable between the two groups.This study provides normative values of dynamics of fixational eye movement in children and adults. The greater disconjugacy of fixational saccades in adults suggests the existence of neural mechanisms that can independently regulate the movements of two eyes. The differences between adult and pediatric populations could be due to completion of the development of binocularly independent regulation of fixational saccades nearing adulthood. The alternate possibility is that the increased disconjugacy between the two eyes may represent a deficiency in the eye movement performance as a function of increasing age.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5391133 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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