Maruyama, Masaki, Fenwick, Peter B.C. and Ioannides, Andreas A.
Interocular yoking in human saccades examined by mutual information analysis
Nonlinear Biomedical Physics, 3, (4), supplement Consciousness and its Measures: Joint Workshop for COST Actions NeuroMath and Consciousness 29 November – 1 December 2009 Limassol, Cyprus, . (doi:10.1186/1753-4631-4-S1-S10).
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Background: Saccadic eye movements align the two eyes precisely to foveate a target. Trial-by-trial variance of eye movement is always observed within an identical experimental condition. This has often been treated as experimental error without addressing its significance. The present study examined statistical linkages between the two eyes’ movements, namely interocular yoking, for the variance of eye position and velocity.
Methods: Horizontal saccadic movements were recorded from twelve right-eye-dominant subjects while they decided on saccade direction in Go-Only sessions and on both saccade execution and direction in Go/NoGo sessions. We used infrared corneal reflection to record simultaneously and independently the movement of each eye. Quantitative measures of yoking were provided by mutual information analysis of eye position or velocity, which is sensitive to both linear and non-linear relationships between the eyes’ movements. Our mutual information analysis relied on the variance of the eyes movements in each experimental condition. The range of movements for each eye varies for different conditions so yoking was further studied by comparing GO-Only vs. Go/NoGo sessions, leftward vs. rightward saccades.
Results: Mutual information analysis showed that velocity yoking preceded positional yoking. Cognitive load increased trial variances of velocity with no increase in velocity yoking, suggesting that cognitive load may alter neural processes in areas to which oculomotor control is not tightly linked. The comparison between experimental conditions showed that interocular linkage in velocity variance of the right eye lagged that of the left eye during saccades.
Conclusions: We conclude quantitative measure of interocular yoking based on trial-to-trial variance within a condition, as well as variance between conditions, provides a powerful tool for studying the binocular movement mechanism
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