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      Beat-to-beat control of human optokinetic nystagmus slow phase durations

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          Abstract

          This study provides the first clear evidence that the generation of optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) fast phases is a decision process that is influenced by performance of a concurrent disjunctive reaction time task (DRT). The slow phase (SP) durations are consistent with a Gaussian basic interval generator and multiple interval SP durations occur more frequently in the presence of the DRT. Hence, OKN shows dual-task interference in a manner observed in voluntary movements, such as saccades.

          Abstract

          This study provides the first clear evidence that the generation of optokinetic nystagmus fast phases (FPs) is a decision process that is influenced by performance of a concurrent disjunctive reaction time task (DRT). Ten subjects performed an auditory DRT during constant velocity optokinetic stimulation. Eye movements were measured in three dimensions with a magnetic search coil. Slow phase (SP) durations were defined as the interval between FPs. There were three main findings. Firstly, human optokinetic nystagmus SP durations are consistent with a model of a Gaussian basic interval generator (a type of biological clock), such that FPs can be triggered randomly at the end of a clock cycle (mean duration: 200–250 ms). Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests could not reject the modeled cumulative distribution for any data trials. Secondly, the FP need not be triggered at the end of a clock cycle, so that individual SP durations represent single or multiple clock cycles. Thirdly, the probability of generating a FP at the end of each interval generator cycle decreases significantly during performance of a DRT. These findings indicate that the alternation between SPs and FPs of optokinetic nystagmus is not purely reflexive. Rather, the triggering of the next FP is postponed more frequently if a recently presented DRT trial is pending action when the timing cycle expires. Hence, optokinetic nystagmus FPs show dual-task interference in a manner usually attributed to voluntary movements, including saccades.

          NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study provides the first clear evidence that the generation of optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) fast phases is a decision process that is influenced by performance of a concurrent disjunctive reaction time task (DRT). The slow phase (SP) durations are consistent with a Gaussian basic interval generator and multiple interval SP durations occur more frequently in the presence of the DRT. Hence, OKN shows dual-task interference in a manner observed in voluntary movements, such as saccades.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Neurophysiol
          J. Neurophysiol
          jn
          jn
          JN
          Journal of Neurophysiology
          American Physiological Society (Bethesda, MD )
          0022-3077
          1522-1598
          19 October 2016
          1 January 2017
          1 January 2018
          : 117
          : 1
          : 204-214
          Affiliations
          1Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
          2Departments of Neurobiology and Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
          3Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and
          4Departments of Neurology and Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
          Author notes
          Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: C. D. Balaban, Dept. of Otolaryngology, Univ. of Pittsburgh, 107 Eye & Ear Institute, 203 Lothrop St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (e-mail: cbalaban@ 123456pitt.edu ).
          Article
          PMC5209535 PMC5209535 5209535 JN-00342-2016
          10.1152/jn.00342.2016
          5209535
          27760815
          Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society
          Funding
          Funded by: http://doi.org/10.13039/100000055 HHS | NIH | National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
          Award ID: DC 05205
          Funded by: http://doi.org/10.13039/100000049 HHS | NIH | National Institute on Aging (U.S. National Institute on Aging)
          Award ID: AG 10009
          Award ID: AG14116
          Award ID: AG024827
          Categories
          Research Article
          Control of Movement

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