Impaired control of the oculomotor reflexes in Parkinson's disease

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Abstract

To investigate the role of the basal ganglia in integrating voluntary and reflexive behaviour, the current study examined the ability of patients with Parkinson's disease to voluntarily control oculomotor reflexes. We measured the size of the fixation offset effect (the reduction in saccadic reaction time when a fixation point is removed) during a block of pro- and a block of anti-saccades. Healthy controls showed the expected reduction of the FOE during the anti-saccades, which results from efforts to suppress reflexive eye movements (a preparatory set characterized by increased internal control and reduced external control). However, there was no reduction of the FOE in the anti-saccade task in Parkinson's patients, indicating that they are impaired in exerting control over oculomotor reflexes. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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van Koningsbruggen, M. G., Pender, T., Machado, L., & Rafal, R. D. (2009). Impaired control of the oculomotor reflexes in Parkinson’s disease. Neuropsychologia, 47(13), 2909–2915. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.06.018

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