Eye-head gaze shifts

Brian D. Corneil

in The Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements

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

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Eye-head gaze shifts

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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Large gaze shifts bring about rapid and accurate realignment of the line of sight via coordinated movements of the eyes and head. In this chapter, I review first the kinematic characteristics of eye-head gaze shifts, and then the biomechanical differences inherent to eye and head motion. A recognition of these differences provides a framework for the interpretation of recent neuroanatomical and neurophysiological results. A central theme is that investigations of eye-head gaze shifts provide an opportunity to more fully address the natural capabilities of the oculomotor system. Such capabilities include solutions to challenges faced by many motor control systems, such as the contextual control of reflexes and the selection of particular coordination patterns from an unlimited set of solutions that could achieve a given goal.

Keywords: eye-head gaze shifts; neural control; oculomotor brainstem; musculoskeletal differences; neck muscle activity

Article.  11271 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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