Changes in vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) anticipate changes in vergence angle in monkey

L. H. Snyder, D. M. Lawrence, W. M. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The axis of head rotation is usually different from the axis of eye rotation. Geometrical considerations show that the eyes translate with respect to visual targets located near the head. In order to accurately stabilize retinal images against this translation, the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) must be modulated inversely with the target's distance. The neural correlate of viewing distance used to modulate the VOR is not known. Since vergence angle is related inversely to viewing distance, an efference copy of instantaneous vergence angle or proprioceptive afferent information from extraocular muscles could be used to adjust the VOR. To examine this hypothesis, we compared the time-course of changes in the VOR with the time-course of changes in vergence angle. The VOR was induced by briefly rotating monkeys about a vertical axis at different times during the execution of vergence eye movements. We found that the amplitude of the VOR changed systematically during the course of a vergence eye movement. On average, the changes in the amplitude ofvestibular induced eye movements anticipated changes in vergence angle by 50msec, but in some instances, up to 200msec of anticipation was observed. These data suggest that a central command signal rather than an afferent or efferent copy of vergence eye position was used to modulate the VOR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-575
Number of pages7
JournalVision Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992


  • (VOR)
  • Efference copy
  • Monkeys
  • Vergence eye movements
  • Vestibulo-ocular reflex


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