Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Saccadic Eye Movement

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_662-1


Animal vision is incomplete without the ability to change the gaze that involves coordinated control of eyes, head, and body movements (McCluskey and Cullen 2007). Saccadic eye movement is one of the mechanisms by which an animal redirects the gaze. As opposed to smooth pursuit movement that helps in tracking a moving object, saccades consist of a rapid ballistic movement of both the eyes from one point of fixation to another. Thus saccades require rapid movement of eyes to new location followed by fixation and inhibition of further eye movement. The orienting eye movement is achieved by the oculomotor system in the brain (Enderle 2002). However, saccadic gaze can be achieved even in a case of congenital eye muscle paralysis by similar saccadic movements of the head (Gilchrist et al. 1997). Thus, saccadic gaze is an integral part of the visual system. The term “saccade” (jerk) was first used by a French ophthalmologist Louis Émile Javal. However, research on saccadic eye...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnatomyAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNagpurIndia
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNagpurIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Joseph Boomer
    • 1
  1. 1.Missouri Southern State UniversityJoplinUSA