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Normal correspondence of tectal maps for saccadic eye movements in strabismus.

  • Author(s): Economides, John R
  • Adams, Daniel L
  • Horton, Jonathan C
  • et al.

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The superior colliculus is a major brain stem structure for the production of saccadic eye movements. Electrical stimulation at any given point in the motor map generates saccades of defined amplitude and direction. It is unknown how this saccade map is affected by strabismus. Three macaques were raised with exotropia, an outwards ocular deviation, by detaching the medial rectus tendon in each eye at age 1 mo. The animals were able to make saccades to targets with either eye and appeared to alternate fixation freely. To probe the organization of the superior colliculus, microstimulation was applied at multiple sites, with the animals either free-viewing or fixating a target. On average, microstimulation drove nearly conjugate saccades, similar in both amplitude and direction but separated by the ocular deviation. Two monkeys showed a pattern deviation, characterized by a systematic change in the relative position of the two eyes with certain changes in gaze angle. These animals' saccades were slightly different for the right eye and left eye in their amplitude or direction. The differences were consistent with the animals' underlying pattern deviation, measured during static fixation and smooth pursuit. The tectal map for saccade generation appears to be normal in strabismus, but saccades may be affected by changes in the strabismic deviation that occur with different gaze angles.

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