Eye-Head Coordination in Monkeys: Evidence for Centrally Patterned Organization

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Science  30 Jul 1971:
Vol. 173, Issue 3995, pp. 452-454
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.3995.452


Eye-head coordination was investigated by recording from the neck and eye muscles in monkeys. The results show that (i) during eye-head turning, neural activity reaches the neck muscles before the eye muscles, and (ii) all agonist neck muscles are activated simultaneously regardless of the initial head position. Since overt movement of the eyes precedes that of the head, it was concluded that the central neural command initiates the eye-head sequence but does not specify its serial order. Furthermore, it was determined that the compensatory eye movement is not initiated centrally but instead is dependent upon reflex activation arising from movement of the head.

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