An eye position signal scales the amplitude of compensatory eye velocity in the translational vestibulo-ocular reflex (TVOR). To investigate the origin of such a modulatory signal, we studied the kinematics of the fore-aft TVOR as rhesus monkeys pursued a horizontally moving target at velocities between 0.5 and 30°/s. We found that the "V-shaped" curve of the fore-aft TVOR amplitude as a function of eye position was shifted opposite to the direction of pursuit eye movement. As a result, the tip of the V-shaped curve that occurred close to zero eye position during steady-state fixation was shifted to the right during leftward pursuit and to the left during rightward pursuit eye movements. The faster the pursuit velocity the larger the observed shift. These results suggest that the scaling of the TVOR can precede actual eye position changes by several tens of milliseconds, which averaged 169 ± 87 ms in three rhesus monkeys. Thus, central motor commands, rather than low-level efference copy or proprioceptive information, may be the signals scaling TVOR amplitude.
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