Blink-induced saccadic oscillations

Ann Neurol. 1986 Mar;19(3):299-301. doi: 10.1002/ana.410190315.


A patient with a neurodegenerative disease had abnormal saccades only when he blinked. These saccades were hypermetric and were followed immediately, without any intersaccadic interval, by a large, oppositely directed saccade (dynamic overshoot). To explain these findings, we hypothesize that a blink-related neural signal can modulate the activity of pause cells that normally inhibit saccadic burst neurons during fixation. In pathological circumstances, abnormal function of pause cells could lead to large-amplitude saccadic oscillations. In normal subjects, blinks could induce short bursts of low-amplitude flutter.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blinking*
  • Eye Movements*
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Nystagmus, Physiologic
  • Reaction Time
  • Saccades*