Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 92, Issue 3, pp 502–506

Pattern of extraocular muscle activation during reflex blinking

  • Craig Evinger
  • Karen A. Manning

DOI: 10.1007/BF00229039

Cite this article as:
Evinger, C. & Manning, K.A. Exp Brain Res (1993) 92: 502. doi:10.1007/BF00229039


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.

Key words

Orbicularis oculi Nictitating membrane Eyelid Blink conditioning Rabbit 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig Evinger
    • 1
  • Karen A. Manning
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Neurobiology and Behavior, and OphthalmologySUNY Stony BrookStony BrookUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnatomyMedical School, University of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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