Short-latency compensatory eye movements associated with a brief period of free fall

Exp Brain Res. 1996 Mar;108(2):337-40. doi: 10.1007/BF00228107.


The vertical eye movements induced by a brief period of free fall were recorded from three monkeys (Macaca mulatta) using the electromagnetic search coil technique. Free fall was initiated in total darkness immediately following binocular fixation of one of six target lights located at viewing distances ranging from 20 to 107 cm. Responses consisted of an initial transient downward eye movement (anticompensatory direction) with a latency of a few milliseconds at most followed by a sustained upward (compensatory) eye movement. The early transient was independent of viewing distance and attributed to an artifact, whereas the later component was a linear function of the inverse of the prior viewing distance and attributed to the translational vestibulo-ocular reflex (TVOR). Response latencies for the four nearer viewing distances were determined from the individual eye velocity traces using a computerized algorithm: after removing the initial transient by subtracting the mean response obtained with the most distant viewing, a regression line was fitted to the initial rising phase of the residual response and then extrapolated back to the baseline to determine the onset. When so determined, median latencies for the nearest viewing ranged from 16.4 to 18.5 ms, values appreciably shorter than any in the literature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Animals
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Reflex, Vestibulo-Ocular / physiology