Scleral search coils influence saccade dynamics.
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The scleral search coil technique is commonly used for recording eye movements. The goal of this paper is to investigate to what extent the placement of scleral search coils onto the eyes influences the kinematics of saccades. To that end saccadic eye movements of human subjects were recorded with an infrared video system, while they wore coils and we compared the main sequence properties with recordings in which no coils were mounted on the eyes. It was found that saccades last longer (by about 8%) and become slower (by about 5%) when both eyes wear coils. This is truly due to the fact that the coils are on the eyes and not due to other factors that are part of this method, such as the scleral anesthesia. The influence of coils in both eyes was also observed when one coil was mounted on one eye only. Therefore the effect that the coils have on the eye movements cannot be attributed to purely mechanical factors, such as inertial load on the eyeball or increased friction. Rather the coils appear to change the oculomotor command signals that drive the saccadic eye movements.
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't