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Extraocular muscle afferent signals modulate visual attention

Balslev, Daniela; Newman, William and Knox, Paul C (2012) Extraocular muscle afferent signals modulate visual attention. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 53 (11). pp. 7004-7009. ISSN 1552-5783 (Online); 0146-0404 (Print)

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PURPOSE. Extraocular muscle afferent signals contribute to oculomotor control and visual localization. Prompted by the close links between the oculomotor and attention systems, it was investigated whether these proprioceptive signals also modulated the allocation of attention in space. METHODS. A suction sclera contact lens was used to impose an eye rotation on the nonviewing, dominant eye. With their viewing, nondominant eye, participants (n¼4) fixated centrally and detected targets presented at 58 in the left or right visual hemifield. The position of the viewing eye was monitored throughout the experiment. As a control, visual localization was tested using finger pointing without visual feedback of the hand,whereas the nonviewing eye remained deviated. RESULTS. The sustained passive rotation of the occluded, dominant eye, while the other eye maintained central fixation, resulted in a lateralized change in the detectability of visualtargets. In all participants, the advantage in speed and accuracy for detecting right versus left hemifield targets that occurred during a sustained rightward eye rotation of the dominant eye was reduced or reversed by a leftward eye rotation. The control experiment confirmed that the eye deviation procedure caused pointing errors consistent with an approximately 28 shift in perceived eye position, in the direction of rotation of the nonviewing eye. CONCLUSIONS. With the caveat of the small number of participants, these results suggest that extraocular muscle afferent signals modulate the deployment of attention in visual space.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Issue date: 9 October, 2012. Published online before print September 13, 2012. Special Issue - An Eye on Glaucoma: New Opportunities for Treatment.
Subjects:Q Science > QP Physiology
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Health Sciences
Publisher's Statement:Copyright 2012 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.
Related URLs:
ID Code:7835
Deposited On:12 Oct 2012 17:16
Last Modified:01 May 2013 16:30

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