Proprioceptive contribution to oculomotor control in humans

We have a new paper accepted for publication at Human Brain Mapping. We argue that in humans the afferent input from the extraocular muscles (EOM proprioception) facilitates yoked movements of the two eyes.

Thanks go to my co-authors Jen Macfarlane, Lukasz Priba, Alexandra Mitchell, and Patrick Faria. Shout-out to Patrick who was only a Masters student at the time he completed a very demanding eye-tracking experiment.

The highlights are:

  • A brief, passive stretch of the right eye’s lateral rectus muscle in humans was associated with an increase in the BOLD response in the left oculomotor and abducens nuclei, which innervate the extraocular muscles of the left eye.
  • The left eye’s active movement mirrored the passive movement of the right eye.
  • Both neuroimaging and eye tracking suggest a proprioceptive coupling between the two eyes.

I will add a link to the open access paper and the publicly available dataset as soon as I get a free moment.

Here is a 3 minute video presentation of this research (presentation at the Annual Conference of the Organisation for Human Brain Mapping in June 2022)