Saccadic and smooth pursuit eye movements in the monkey

J Physiol. 1967 Aug;191(3):609-31. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1967.sp008271.


1. Voluntary eye movements were measured in the chronic, unanaesthetized monkey. A training technique is described which conditions the animals to follow a large variety of target trajectories.2. The eye movements of the monkey are not qualitatively different from those of man. In response to random target motions the monkey also employs a combination of saccadic and smooth pursuit movements.3. Monkeys execute their saccades more rapidly than humans.4. Monkeys are capable of attaining smooth pursuit velocities which are twice as fast as those of man.5. Most of the critical experiments showing the separate nature of the saccadic and smooth pursuit modes in man have been performed on monkeys with similar results.6. Therefore, if one remains aware of the quantitative differences between the two primates, results of neurophysiological studies of the occulomotor system of the monkey can be expected to have considerable relevance when extrapolated to man.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Conditioning, Operant
  • Electrooculography
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Feedback
  • Haplorhini*
  • Humans
  • Oscillometry
  • Physiology, Comparative