The Relationship between Saccades and Locomotion

J Mov Disord. 2018 Sep;11(3):93-106. doi: 10.14802/jmd.18018. Epub 2018 Aug 9.


Human locomotion involves a complex interplay among multiple brain regions and depends on constant feedback from the visual system. We summarize here the current understanding of the relationship among fixations, saccades, and gait as observed in studies sampling eye movements during locomotion, through a review of the literature and a synthesis of the relevant knowledge on the topic. A significant overlap in locomotor and saccadic neural circuitry exists that may support this relationship. Several animal studies have identified potential integration nodes between these overlapping circuitries. Behavioral studies that explored the relationship of saccadic and gait-related impairments in normal conditions and in various disease states are also discussed. Eye movements and locomotion share many underlying neural circuits, and further studies can leverage this interplay for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

Keywords: Gait; deep brain stimulationpe; fixation; locomotion; posture; saccade.