Current models of ocular mechanics do not fully account for potentially large globe translations associated with eye rotation. Such combined motion can be measured using magnetic resonance imaging in axial planes. We imaged orbits of normal volunteers fixating horizontally eccentric targets. These data indicate that the human eye acts as if it rotates eccentrically about a varying point typically anterior to the geometric globe center, but significantly lateral in abduction and medial in adduction. Assumed eccentricity of the ocular rotational center would vary the torque lever arms for the horizontal rectus muscles, with an appreciably smaller relative lever arm for the medial rectus muscle in adduction than would be the case for oculocentric rotation. Such variation in ocular rotational center might alter muscle torque without commensurate change in muscle tension, as appears to happen in convergence.
Keywords: Extraocular muscle; Magnetic resonance imaging; Modeling; Rotation; Torque; Translation.
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