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M W Stava, M D Huffman, R S Baker, A D Epstein, J D Porter; Conjugacy of spontaneous blinks in man: eyelid kinematics exhibit bilateral symmetry.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1994;35(11):3966-3971.
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PURPOSE: To provide a quantitative description of the conjugacy of human eyelid movements during spontaneous blinks. METHODS: Eyelid movements occurring during spontaneous blinks were recorded bilaterally using a modification of the electromagnetic search coil technique. In off-line analyses, covariation of amplitude, peak velocity, and duration of blink down phases were determined for the two eyelids. Interocular differences in the timing of blink onset and offset, and time to peak velocity, also were evaluated. RESULTS: Human blink motor control systems act to link tightly the spatial and temporal characteristics of movements of the two eyelids. Data show that human spontaneous blinks are conjugate. Analysis of interocular covariation of blink amplitude, peak velocity, and duration yielded linear functions with high correlation coefficients. Interocular comparison of eyelid movement durations during blinks showed a particularly high correlation. There were negligible interocular differences in blink down-phase onset time, termination time, and time to peak velocity. A small percentage of blinks exhibited interocular differences in amplitude and peak velocity of > 20%; however, even in these cases, blink duration remained tightly linked. CONCLUSION: Spatial and temporal properties of eyelid movements occurring during spontaneous blinks are conjugate. These data support the hypothesis that a bilateral gating mechanism regulates blink duration. Elements downstream from the gate may differentially and unilaterally alter blink amplitude and peak velocity, but the duration of blinks remains time-locked for the two eyelids.
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