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Express-saccades of the monkey: Effect of daily training on probability of occurrence and reaction time

Summary

Two monkeys learned to make saccadic eye movements from a central fixation point to a peripheral target, when there was a temporal gap between fixation point offset and target onset. Under these conditions the animals made saccades after extremely short reaction times (< 100 ms), so called express-saccades. With ongoing training the rate of occurrence increased (10 to 100%) and the reaction time of the express-saccades decreased (95 to 75 ms). The training effects were mediated by the amount of previously executed express-saccades and they were also spatially selective for express-saccades to that target position that had been used during training. The training effects on the express-saccades can be saturated after less than 7 days of daily training and are reversible after another 7 days of no training. The results indicate the existence of a fast-operating visuo-to-oculomotor pathway which can be quickly and reversibly modified by daily exercise.

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Correspondence to Prof. Dr. B. Fischer.

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Fischer, B., Boch, R. & Ramsperger, E. Express-saccades of the monkey: Effect of daily training on probability of occurrence and reaction time. Exp Brain Res 55, 232–242 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00237274

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Key words

  • Eye movements
  • Express-saccades
  • Reaction time
  • Learning
  • Monkey