Pattern of extraocular muscle activation during reflex blinking
- Cite this article as:
- Evinger, C. & Manning, K.A. Exp Brain Res (1993) 92: 502. doi:10.1007/BF00229039
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Studies in humans and rabbits suggest that cocontraction of extraocular muscles occurs with reflex and voluntary blinks. We determined the pattern of extraocular muscle activity elicited by blink-evoking visual and trigeminal stimuli by electromyographically recording antagonistic pairs of extraocular muscles in alert rabbits. In addition, we recorded the activity of antidromically identified oculomotor motoneurons in response to the same stimuli in alert rabbits. The data demonstrate that all extraocular muscles except the superior oblique transiently increase their activity in response to blink-evoking stimuli. The pattern of extraocular muscle activity with reflex blinks mirrors that occurring in the lid-closing muscle, orbicularis oculi, but the latency of extraocular muscle activation is longer.