Saccade and vestibular ocular motor adaptation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Purpose: This paper focuses on motor learning within the saccadic and vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) oculomotor systems, vital for our understanding how the brain keeps these subsystems calibrated in the presence of disease, trauma, and the changes that invariably accompany normal development and aging. We will concentrate on new information related to multiple time scales of saccade motor learning, adaptation of the VOR during high-velocity impulses, and the role of saccades in VOR adaptation. The role of the cerebellum in both systems is considered. Methods: Review of data involving saccade and VOR motor learning. Results: Data supports learning within the saccadic and VOR oculomotor systems is influenced by 1). Multiple time scales, with different rates of both learning and forgetting (seconds, minutes, hours, days, and months). In the case of forgetting, relearning on a similar task may be faster. 2). Pattern of training, learning and forgetting are not similarly achieved. Different contexts require different motor behaviors and rest periods between training sessions can be important for memory consolidation. Conclusions: The central nervous system has the difficult task of determining where blame resides when motor performance is impaired (the credit assignment problem). Saccade and VOR motor learning takes place at multiple levels within the nervous system, from alterations in ion channel and membrane properties on single neurons, to more complex changes in neural circuit behavior and higher-level cognitive processes including prediction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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