Research Article About Eye Movement

Here is an interesting article I just read regarding how certain eye movements are events of certain specific brain areas:

2017 Dec;222(9):4163-4185. doi: 10.1007/s00429-017-1461-8. Epub 2017 Jun 23.

Delineating function and connectivity of optokinetic hubs in the cerebellum and the brainstem.


Optokinetic eye movements are crucial for keeping a stable image on the retina during movements of the head. These eye movements can be differentiated into a cortically generated response (optokinetic look nystagmus) and the highly reflexive optokinetic stare nystagmus, which is controlled by circuits in the brainstem and cerebellum. The contributions of these infratentorial networks and their functional connectivity with the cortical eye fields are still poorly understood in humans. To map ocular motor centres in the cerebellum and brainstem, we studied stare nystagmus using small-field optokinetic stimuli in the horizontal and vertical directions in 22 healthy subjects. We were able to differentiate ocular motor areas of the pontine brainstem and midbrain in vivo for the first time. Direction and velocity-dependent activations were found in the pontine brainstem (nucleus reticularis, tegmenti pontis, and paramedian pontine reticular formation), the uvula, flocculus, and cerebellar tonsils. The ocular motor vermis, on the other hand, responded to constant and accelerating velocity stimulation. Moreover, deactivation patterns depict a governing role for the cerebellar tonsils in ocular motor control. Functional connectivity results of these hubs reveal the close integration of cortico-cerebellar ocular motor and vestibular networks in humans. Adding to the cortical concept of a right-hemispheric predominance for visual-spatial processing, we found a complementary left-sided cerebellar dominance for our ocular motor task. A deeper understanding of the role of the cerebellum and especially the cerebellar tonsils for eye movement control in a clinical context seems vitally important and is now feasible with functional neuroimaging.