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Nadia Alahyane, Denis Pélisson; Eye Position Specificity of Saccadic Adaptation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(1):123-130. doi: 10.1167/iovs.03-0570.
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purpose. The accuracy of saccadic eye movements is maintained throughout life by adaptive mechanisms. With the double-step target paradigm, eight human subjects were investigated to determine whether saccadic adaptation depends only on the eye-displacement vector, or also on eye position as a context cue when two saccades of identical vector are adapted simultaneously.
methods. First, bidirectional adaptations (BDAs) of horizontal saccades of the same vector were induced in a single training phase. Each direction of adaptation in BDAs (backward and forward) was linked to one vertical eye position (e.g., forward adaptation performed with the eyes directed 12.5° upward and backward adaptation with the eyes 25° downward) and alternated from trial to trial. Second, unidirectional adaptations (UDAs) were tested in two control conditions in which training trials of a single direction (backward or forward) were presented at both 12.5° and −25° eye elevations.
results. Opposite changes in saccade amplitude could develop simultaneously in BDA, indicating that saccadic adaptation depends on orbital eye position. Comparing these data with the control conditions further indicated that eye position specificity was complete for backward, but not for forward, adaptation.
conclusions. The results indicate that saccadic adaptation mechanisms use vectorial eye displacement signals, but can also take eye position signals into account as a contextual cue when the training involves conflicting saccade amplitude changes.
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