We have earlier shown that monkeys reared with daily alternating monocular occlusion for the first few months of life develop large horizontal strabismus, A/V patterns, dissociated vertical deviation (DVD), and dissociated horizontal deviation (DHD). Here, we present results from neurophysiological experiments that show that neuronal activity of cells within the supraoculomotor area (SOA) of juvenile strabismic monkeys is correlated with the angle of strabismus. There was no modulation of SOA cell activity with conjugate eye position as tested during horizontal smooth pursuit. Comparison of SOA population activity in these strabismic animals and normal monkeys (described in the literature) suggests that both vergence (misalignment in the case of the strabismic animals) thresholds and vergence position sensitivities are different in the strabismic animals compared to the normals. Our data suggest that activity within the SOA cells is important in determining the state of horizontal strabismus possibly by altering vergence tone in extraocular muscle.
© 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.