Disconjugate adaptation of saccades: Contribution of binocular and monocular mechanisms

Lea Averbuch-Heller, Richard F. Lewis, David S. Zee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We studied the effects of prism-induced disparity on static and intrasaccadic alignment in six normal human subjects. A ten diopter base-out prism, calling for convergence, was placed in front of the central field of the right eye, so that at the center the eye viewed through the prism; at left and right, outside the prism. During 15 min of training, subjects made repetitive saccades solely in the right field of vision (C-R-C sequence). This paradigm required relative divergence for centrifugal (C-R) saccades and relative convergence for centripetal (R-C) saccades, as well as increase of the amplitude for all saccades made by the right eye. We found that during training, all subjects incorporated the necessary change in alignment into the saccades. After training the resultant intrasaccadic disconjugacy persisted when tested during monocular viewing, indicating that motor learning had occurred. Subjects demonstrated increased divergence for C-R and increased convergence for R-C saccades, in accordance with the change acquired during adaptation to the prism. In addition, five subjects developed increased divergence for C-L saccades, for which they did not train. Smaller and less consistent divergence was also observed for L-C saccades. Changes in intrasaccadic alignment were accompanied by changes in the relative velocities of the two eyes' saccades and slowing of the peak velocities in both eyes during training. Static alignment showed a general tendency toward convergence that did not parallel the changes in the intrasaccadic alignment, suggesting that saccade adaptation is system-specific. The pattern of transfer of the intrasaccadic disconjugacy to saccades in the untrained field and the changes in the relative speeds of the two eyes cannot be explained by monocular adjustment of the saccades. Our results indicate that both a binocular mechanism - saccade-vergence interaction - and monocular adaptation contribute to disconjugate adaptation of saccades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-352
Number of pages12
JournalVision Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1999


  • Adaptation
  • Disconjugate
  • Human
  • Saccades
  • Vergence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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