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Oliver Bergamin, Sandra Bizzarri, Dominik Straumann; Ocular Torsion during Voluntary Blinks in Humans. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(11):3438-3443.
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purpose. Most studies on blink-induced eye movements have been restricted to rotations about the horizontal and vertical axes. By additionally measuring rotation about the torsional axis, the authors investigated whether the three-dimensional rotation of the eye during the early phase of eyelid closure could be assigned to the action of a single extraocular muscle.
methods. In five healthy human subjects, eye movements about all principal axes of rotation (horizontal, vertical, and torsional) were recorded during voluntary blinks of different durations (as short as possible, 0.83 seconds, and 1.67 seconds) in straight-ahead gaze. Original dual search coils frequently rotate about the line of sight, because the upper eyelid touches the nasally exiting wire leads. Therefore, the search coils were modified so that the wires left the silicon annulus from its inner border at 6 o’clock.
results. The earliest eye movement during blinks consisted of a pulselike trajectory in a direction that was always extorsional, downward, and inward, regardless of the duration of eyelid closure. The beginning of all three movement components preceded the beginning of eyelid movement; thus, a coil artifact is unlikely. On eyelid opening, a consistent pulselike movement in the intorsional, upward, and outward direction occurred.
conclusions. During the initial phase of voluntary eyelid closure, the eyes move in a three-dimensional direction that is consistent with a pulselike innervation of the inferior rectus muscle. To obtain reliable measurement of torsional eye movements with dual search coils during blinks, modification of the annulus is indispensable.
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