Effect of cognitive load on eye-target synchronization during smooth pursuit eye movement

Brain Res. 2011 Jun 29;1398:55-63. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.05.004. Epub 2011 May 28.


In mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), the fiber tracts that connect the frontal cortex with the cerebellum may suffer shear damage, leading to attention deficits and performance variability. This damage also disrupts the enhancement of eye-target synchronization that can be affected by cognitive load when subjects are tested using a concurrent eye-tracking test and word-recall test. We investigated the effect of cognitive load on eye-target synchronization in normal and mTBI patients using the nonlinear dynamical technique of stochastic phase synchronization. Results demonstrate that eye-target synchronization was negatively affected by cognitive load in mTBI subjects. In contrast, eye-target synchronization improved under intermediate cognitive load in young (≤40years old) normal subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Pursuit, Smooth / physiology*
  • Young Adult