Fixational Saccades and Their Relation to Fixation Instability in Strabismic Monkeys



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Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science


Purpose: To evaluate the contribution of fixational saccades toward fixation instability in strabismic monkeys. Methods: Binocular eye movements were measured as six experimental monkeys (five strabismic monkeys and one monkey with downbeat nystagmus) and one normal monkey fixated targets of two shapes (Optotype, Disk) and two sizes (0.5°, 2°) during monocular and binocular viewing. Fixational saccades were detected using an unsupervised clustering algorithm. Results: When compared with the normal monkey, amplitude and frequency of fixational saccades in both the viewing and nonviewing eye were greater in 3 of 5 strabismic monkeys (1-way ANOVA on ranks P < 0.001; median amplitude in the normal monkey viewing eye: 0.33°; experimental animals: median amplitude range 0.20–0.82°; median frequency in the normal monkey: 1.35/s; experimental animals: median frequency range 1.3–3.7/s). Increase in frequency of fixational saccades was largely due to quick phases of ongoing nystagmus. Fixational saccade amplitude was increased significantly (3-way ANOVA; P < 0.001) but by small magnitude depending on target shape and size (mean difference between disk and optotype targets = 0.02°; mean difference between 2° and 0.5° targets = 0.1°). Relationship between saccade amplitude and the Bivariate Contour Ellipse Area (BCEA) was nonlinear, showing saturation of saccade amplitude. Fixation instability in depth was significantly greater in strabismic monkeys (vergence BCEA: 0.63 deg2–2.15 deg2) compared with the normal animal (vergence BCEA: 0.15 deg2; P < 0.001). Conclusions: Increased fixational instability in strabismic monkeys is only partially due to increased amplitude and more frequent fixational saccades. Target parameter effects on fixational saccades are similar to previous findings of target effects on BCEA.



Strabismus, Nonhuman primate, Fixation, Saccades, Microsaccades


Copyright 2017 Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. Recommended citation: Upadhyaya, Suraj, Mythri Pullela, Santoshi Ramachandran, Samuel Adade, Anand C. Joshi, and Vallabh E. Das. "Fixational Saccades and Their Relation to Fixation Instability in Strabismic Monkeys." Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 58, no. 13 (2017): 5743-5753. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.17-22389. URL: Reproduced in accordance with the original publisher’s licensing terms and with permission from the author(s).