The optokinetic reflex

C. Distler and K.-P. Hoffmann

in The Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199539789
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The optokinetic reflex

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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The present chapter describes the structures in the visual system relevant for the optokinetic reflex (OKR), their evolution and functional significance, as well as the neuronal substrate in vertebrates. After a phylogenetic overview of representative vertebrates investigated so far, the OKR in mammals will be described to characterize ontogenetic changes as well as certain pathologies. This will emphasize the importance of this basic reflex for judging developmental stage, damage after acquired lesions or maldevelopment, and for diagnosis of neurological disorders.

Keywords: visual system; optokinetic reflex; ontogenetic changes; oculocutaneous albinism; neurological disorders

Article.  10966 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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