Adaptation and its Limits

  • Han Collewijn
Part of the Studies of Brain Function book series (BRAIN FUNCTION, volume 5)


A fundamental property of the nervous system is its capability to learn, i.e., to modify its responses in such a way that they are most adequate with respect to the stimuli, according to certain criteria. In the case of the oculomotor reflexes concerned with stabilization of gaze the criterion for optimal performance might well be the absence of more than a minimal amount of retinal image slip when the animal moves around. Since compensatory eye movements are controlled by several sensory systems through complex circuits, many parameters have to be correctly set for a reliable performance, just to name a few: (a) the overall system should be in balance, i.e., no systematic drift in one direction should occur, otherwise the animal will have a spontaneous nystagmus; (b) the gain and phase of the VOR should be neither too large nor too small, which could easily be the case since the VOR is a feed-forward system without direct feed-back from the eye movements to the labyrinth;(c) the gain of the OKN should be adequate to complement the VOR; (d) adequate interaction should exist between canal-ocular, mac-ulo-ocular, optokinetic, and cervico-ocular responses.


Visual Field Receptive Field Albino Rabbit Anterior Sector Spontaneous Nystagmus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Han Collewijn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology I, Faculty of MedicineErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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