Eye movements of the blind

R. J. Leigh, David Samuel Zee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The authors investigated a group of patients who were blind because of disease affecting the anterior visual pathways. All subjects showed an inability to maintain steady eye position, with a consequent jerk nystagmus. Blindness from birth was associated with an impaired vestibulo-ocular reflex and inability to voluntarily initiate saccades, although quick phases of nystagmus were maintained. Acquired blindness was associated with relatively preserved vestibulo-ocular responses and the ability to initiate voluntary saccades and smoothly track self-moved targets. Certain features of the eye movements of the blind are similar to those due to cerebellar dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-331
Number of pages4
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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