Is primate lens accommodation unilaterally or bilaterally controlled?

Academic Article


  • PURPOSE. In frontal-eyed mammals such as primates, eye movements are coordinated so that the lines of sight are directed at targets in a manner that adjusts for target distance. The lens of each eye must also be adjusted with respect to target distance to maintain precise focus. Whether the systems for controlling eye movements are monocularly or binocularly organized is currently a point of contention. We recently determined that the premotor neurons controlling the lens of one eye are bilaterally distributed in the midbrain. In this study, we examine whether this is due to premotor neurons projecting bilaterally to the preganglionic Edinger-Westphal nuclei, or by a mixture of ipsilaterally and contralaterally projecting cells supplying each nucleus. METHODS. The ciliary muscles of Macaca fasicularis monkeys were injected with recombinant forms of the N2c rabies virus, one eye with virus that produced a green fluorescent marker and the other eye with a virus that produced a red fluorescent marker. RESULTS. Preganglionic motoneurons in the Edinger-Westphal nucleus displayed the same marker as the ipsilateral injected muscle. Many of the premotor neurons in the supraoculomotor area and central mesencephalic reticular formation were doubly labeled. Others were labeled from either the ipsilateral or contralateral eye. CONCLUSIONS. These results suggest that both monocular control and binocular control of lens accommodation are present. Binocular inputs yoke the accommodation in the two eyes. Monocular inputs may allow modification related to differences in each eye s target distance or differences in the capacities of the two ciliary muscles.
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    Author List

  • May PJ; Gamlin PD
  • Volume

  • 61
  • Issue

  • 8