1. The function of extraocular muscle proprioception in the control of eye movements is uncertain. We tested the hypothesis that proprioception contributes to the long-term regulation of ocular alignment and eye movement conjugacy. 2. Eye movements were recorded in monkeys with unilateral extraocular muscle palsies, before and after proprioceptive deafferentation of the paretic eye. Following deafferentation, ocular alignment and saccade conjugacy gradually worsened over several weeks. In contrast, disconjugate adaptation induced by habitual binocular viewing with a prism (disparity- mediated adaptation) occurred normally after deafferentation. 3. These results provide the first evidence that proprioception functions in the control of eye movements in primates, and indicate that proprioception contributes to the long-term adaptive mechanisms that regulate ocular alignment during fixation and saccades. The error signal used in this process may be derived from a mismatch between the efference copy and proprioceptive afference.
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