Quantifying eye dominance strength – New insights into the neurophysiological bases of saccadic asymmetries

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Abstract

The saccadic system presents asymmetries. Notably, saccadic peak velocity is higher in temporal than in nasal saccades, and in centripetal than in centrifugal saccades. It has already been shown that eye dominance strength relates to naso-temporal asymmetry, but its links with centripetal-centrifugal asymmetry has never been tested. The current study tested both naso-temporal and centripetal-centrifugal asymmetries simultaneously to provide a finer and continuous measure of eye dominance strength. We asked 63 participants to make centripetal and centrifugal saccades from five different locations. Analysis of saccadic peak velocity shows that eye dominance strength modulates every saccadic asymmetry tested. For the first time, we propose a graduated measure of eye dominance strength on a continuum model. The model ranges from weak to very strong eye dominance. Weak eye dominance corresponds to increased saccadic asymmetries whereas strong eye dominance corresponds to no asymmetries. Furthermore, our results provide new insights into the neurophysiological origins of saccadic asymmetries. Modulation of both naso-temporal and centripetal-centrifugal asymmetries by eye dominance strength supports the involvement of V1 in these saccadic asymmetries.

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