Yuksel D, Orban de Xivry J.-J. and Lefevre P Binocular coordination of saccades in Duane Retraction Syndrome Vision Research 48(19): 1972-1979, 2008
Disconjugate oculomotor adaptation is driven by the need to maintain binocular vision. Since binocular vision in Duane Retraction Syndrome (DRS) patients is normal in half of their horizontal field of gaze (i.e., sound-side of gaze), we wondered whether oculomotor adaptive capabilities are efficient despite such a severe impairment of eye motility towards the other half of the horizontal field of gaze (i.e., affected-side gaze). We compared properties of horizontal saccades of patients with congenital unilateral Duane Retraction Syndrome type I in binocular viewing and monocular viewing conditions by simultaneously recording both eyes with the search coil technique. Our results show a mismatch between the pulse and the step signal of the innervation for saccades. When tested in the affected eye viewing condition (sound eye covered), the eyes showed not only similarly-directed increases of the saccadic gain (pulse signal) in the two eyes but also disjunctive post-saccadic drifts (step signal). This behavior suggests that visuomotor errors presented only to the affected eye were transferred to the sound eye, producing conjugate changes of the saccadic command. The post-saccadic command remained unchanged, however, and controlled the final position of each eye separately. This suggests that monocular adaptation is possible only for the step of innervation (i.e., controlling the final eye position) but not for the pulse of innervation (i.e., controlling the saccadic gain), even though the peculiarity of unilateral DRS type I offers a clear advantage for separate pathways of control for the two eyes.
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