Effect of vergence on human ocular following response (OFR).
The human ocular following response (OFR) is a preattentive, short-latency visual-field-holding mechanism, which is enhanced if the moving stimulus is applied in the wake of a saccade. Since most natural gaze shifts incorporate both saccadic and vergence components, we asked whether the OFR was also enhanced during vergence. Ten subjects viewed vertically moving sine-wave gratings on a video monitor at 45 cm that had a temporal frequency of 16.7 Hz, contrast of 32%, and spatial frequency of 0.17, 0.27, or 0.44 cycle/deg. In Fixation/OFR experiments, subjects fixed on a white central dot on the video monitor, which disappeared at the beginning of each trial, just as the sinusoidal grating started moving up or down. We measured the change in eye position in the 70- to 150-ms open-loop interval following stimulus onset. Group mean downward responses were larger (0.14 degrees) and made at shorter latency (85 ms) than upward responses (0.10 degrees and 96 ms). The direction of eye drifts during control trials, when gratings remained stationary, was unrelated to the prior response. During vergence/OFR experiments, subjects switched their fixation point between the white dot at 45 cm and a red spot at 15 cm, cued by the disappearance of one target and appearance of the other. When horizontal vergence velocity exceeded 15 degrees/s, motion of sinusoidal gratings commenced and elicited the vertical OFR. Subjects showed significantly (P<0.001) larger OFR when the moving stimulus was presented during convergence (group mean increase of 46%) or divergence (group mean increase of 36%) compared with following fixation. Since gaze shifts between near and far are common during natural activities, we postulate that the increase of OFR during vergence movements reflects enhancement of early cortical motion processing, which serves to stabilize the visual field as the eyes approach their new fixation point.
Version: za2963e q8za2 q8zbf q8zcf q8zd9 q8ze0 q8zf3 q8zg4