, Volume 234, Issue 5, pp 337-341

Eye movements and vestibulo-ocular reflex in the blind

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Summary

To assess the effect of chronic deprivation of visual feedback, 21 blind patients underwent clinical and electro-nystagmographical examination. Patients with congenital blindness were characterized by spontaneous eye movements, inability to consciously move the eyes and absence of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), whereas eye movement abnormalities were practically absent in those with blindness acquired late in life. Active visual experience, at least in early life, seems to be crucial for the development of eye movements and VOR adjustment.