Modeling gaze position-dependent opsoclonus

Lance M. Optican, Janet C. Rucker, John Ross Rizzo, Todd E. Hudson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Opsoclonus/flutter (O/F) is a rare disorder of the saccadic system. Previously, we modeled O/F that developed in a patient following abuse of anabolic steroids. That model, as in all models of the saccadic system, generates commands to make a change in eye position. Recently, we saw a patient who developed a unique form of opsoclonus following a concussion. The patient had postsaccadic ocular flutter in both directions of gaze, and opsoclonus during fixation and pursuit in the left hemifield. A new model of the saccadic system is needed to account for this gaze-position dependent O/F. We started with our prior model, which contains two key elements, mutual inhibition between inhibitory burst neurons on both sides and a prolonged reactivation time of the omnipause neurons (OPNs). We included new inputs to the OPNs from the nucleus prepositus hypoglossi and the frontal eye fields, which contain position-dependent neurons. This provides a mechanism for delaying OPN reactivation, and creating a gaze-position dependence. A simplified pursuit system was also added, the output of which inhibits the OPNs, providing a mechanism for gaze-dependence during pursuit. The rest of the model continues to generate a command to change eye position.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMathematical Modelling in Motor Neuroscience
Subtitle of host publicationState of the Art and Translation to the Clinic. Gaze Orienting Mechanisms and Disease
EditorsStefano Ramat, Aasef G. Shaikh
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9780444642547
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
ISSN (Print)0079-6123
ISSN (Electronic)1875-7855


  • Model
  • Opsoclonus
  • Saccade
  • Smooth pursuit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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