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Saccadic and Postsaccadic Disconjugacy in Zebrafish Larvae Suggests Independent Eye Movement Control


Chen, C C; Bockisch, C J; Straumann, D; Huang, M Y (2016). Saccadic and Postsaccadic Disconjugacy in Zebrafish Larvae Suggests Independent Eye Movement Control. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 10:80.

Abstract

Spontaneous eye movements of zebrafish larvae in the dark consist of centrifugal saccades that move the eyes from a central to an eccentric position and postsaccadic centripetal drifts. In a previous study, we showed that the fitted single-exponential time constants of the postsaccadic drifts are longer in the temporal-to-nasal (T->N) direction than in the nasal-to-temporal (N->T) direction. In the present study, we further report that saccadic peak velocities are higher and saccadic amplitudes are larger in the N->T direction than in the T->N direction. We investigated the underlying mechanism of this ocular disconjugacy in the dark with a top-down approach. A mathematic ocular motor model, including an eye plant, a set of burst neurons and a velocity-to-position neural integrator (VPNI), was built to simulate the typical larval eye movements in the dark. The modeling parameters, such as VPNI time constants, neural impulse signals generated by the burst neurons and time constants of the eye plant, were iteratively adjusted to fit the average saccadic eye movement. These simulations suggest that four pools of burst neurons and four pools of VPNIs are needed to explain the disconjugate eye movements in our results. A premotor mechanism controls the synchronous timing of binocular saccades, but the pools of burst and integrator neurons in zebrafish larvae seem to be different (and maybe separate) for both eyes and horizontal directions, which leads to the observed ocular disconjugacies during saccades and postsaccadic drifts in the dark.

Abstract

Spontaneous eye movements of zebrafish larvae in the dark consist of centrifugal saccades that move the eyes from a central to an eccentric position and postsaccadic centripetal drifts. In a previous study, we showed that the fitted single-exponential time constants of the postsaccadic drifts are longer in the temporal-to-nasal (T->N) direction than in the nasal-to-temporal (N->T) direction. In the present study, we further report that saccadic peak velocities are higher and saccadic amplitudes are larger in the N->T direction than in the T->N direction. We investigated the underlying mechanism of this ocular disconjugacy in the dark with a top-down approach. A mathematic ocular motor model, including an eye plant, a set of burst neurons and a velocity-to-position neural integrator (VPNI), was built to simulate the typical larval eye movements in the dark. The modeling parameters, such as VPNI time constants, neural impulse signals generated by the burst neurons and time constants of the eye plant, were iteratively adjusted to fit the average saccadic eye movement. These simulations suggest that four pools of burst neurons and four pools of VPNIs are needed to explain the disconjugate eye movements in our results. A premotor mechanism controls the synchronous timing of binocular saccades, but the pools of burst and integrator neurons in zebrafish larvae seem to be different (and maybe separate) for both eyes and horizontal directions, which leads to the observed ocular disconjugacies during saccades and postsaccadic drifts in the dark.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Ophthalmology Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:17 Nov 2016 11:48
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 08:08
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1662-5137
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnsys.2016.00080
PubMed ID:27761109

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