Bilateral control of interceptive saccades: evidence from the ipsipulsion of vertical saccades after caudal fastigial inactivation.

Academic Article


  • The caudal fastigial nuclei (cFN) are the output nuclei by which the medio-posterior cerebellum influences the production of saccades toward a visual target. On the basis of the organization of their efferences to the premotor burst neurons and the bilateral control of saccades, the hypothesis was proposed that the same unbalanced activity accounts for the dysmetria of all saccades during cFN unilateral inactivation, regardless of whether the saccade is horizontal, oblique, or vertical. We further tested this hypothesis by studying, in two head-restrained macaques, the effects of unilaterally inactivating the caudal fastigial nucleus on saccades toward a target moving vertically with a constant, increasing or decreasing speed. After local muscimol injection, vertical saccades were deviated horizontally toward the injected side with a magnitude that increased with saccade size. The ipsipulsion indeed depended on the tested target speed but not its instantaneous value because it did not increase (decrease) when the target accelerated (decelerated). By subtracting the effect on contralesional horizontal saccades from the effect on ipsilesional ones, we found that the net bilateral effect on horizontal saccades was strongly correlated with the effect on vertical saccades. We explain how this correlation corroborates the bilateral hypothesis and provide arguments against the suggestion that the instantaneous saccade velocity would somehow be "encoded" by the discharge of Purkinje cells in the oculomotor vermis.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Besides causing dysmetric horizontal saccades, unilateral inactivation of caudal fastigial nucleus causes an ipsipulsion of vertical saccades. This study is the first to quantitatively describe this ipsipulsion during saccades toward a moving target. By subtracting the effects on contralesional (hypometric) and ipsilesional (hypermetric) horizontal saccades, we find that this net bilateral effect is strongly correlated with the ipsipulsion of vertical saccades, corroborating the suggestion that a common disorder affects all saccades.
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    Published In


  • brainstem, cerebellum, interception, macaque, saccade, Animals, Behavior, Animal, Cerebellar Nuclei, Disease Models, Animal, Eye-Tracking Technology, GABA-A Receptor Agonists, Macaca mulatta, Male, Motion Perception, Muscimol, Ocular Motility Disorders, Saccades
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    Author List

  • Bourrelly C; Quinet J; Goffart L
  • Start Page

  • 2068
  • End Page

  • 2083
  • Volume

  • 125
  • Issue

  • 6