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Velocity storage mechanism in zebrafish larvae

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2014
Author Chen Chien-Cheng, Bockisch Christopher , Bertolini Giovanni , Olasagasti Itsaso , Neuhauss Stephan , Weber Konrad, Straumann Dominik , Huang Melody Ying-Yu ,
Project Study of infantile nystagmus syndrome: development of the ocular motor system, disease mechanism and clinical applications
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal The Journal of Physiology
Volume (Issue) 592(1)
Page(s) 203 - 214
Title of proceedings The Journal of Physiology
DOI 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.258640


The optokinetic reflex (OKR) and the angular vestibulo-ocular reflex (aVOR) complement each other to stabilize images on the retina despite self- or world motion, a joint mechanism that is critical for effective vision. It is currently hypothesized that signals from both systems integrate, in a mathematical sense, in a network of neurons operating as a velocity storage mechanism (VSM). When exposed to a rotating visual surround, subjects display the OKR, slow following eye movements frequently interrupted by fast resetting eye movements. Subsequent to light-off during optokinetic stimulation, eye movements do not stop abruptly, but decay slowly, a phenomenon referred to as the optokinetic after-response (OKAR). The OKAR is most likely generated by the VSM. In this study, we observed the OKAR in developing larval zebrafish before the horizontal aVOR emerged. Our results suggest that the VSM develops prior to and without the need for a functional aVOR. It may be critical to ocular motor control in early development as it increases the efficiency of the OKR.