The kinematics of far-near re-fixation saccades.J Neurophysiol 2015; 113(9):3197-208JN
We have analyzed the three-dimensional spatiotemporal characteristics of saccadic refixations between far and near targets in three behaviorally trained rhesus monkeys. The kinematics underlying these rapid eye movements can be accurately described by rotations of the eyes in four different planes, namely, first disconjugate rotations in the horizontal plane of regard converging the eyes toward the near target, followed by rotations in each eye's vertical direction plane, and finally, disconjugate rotations in a common frontoparallel plane. This compounded rotation of the eye was underlying an initially fast-rising variable torsion that typically overshot the final torsion, which the eyes attained at the time of target acquisition. The torsion consisted of a coarse, widely varying component of opposite polarity in the two eyes, which contained a more robust, much smaller modulation that sharply increased toward the end of saccades. The reorientation of the eyes in torsion depended on each eye's azimuth, elevation, and target distance. We conclude that refixation saccades are generated by motor commands that control ocular torsion in concert with the saccade generator, which operates in Donders-Listing kinematics underlying Listing's law.