Visual and auditory saccades were studied in three patients with an isolated lesion located in the central thalamus. Visual saccades proved to be normal, whereas for auditory stimuli, the amplitude of the first saccade was asymmetric: saccades ipsilateral to the lesion were significantly smaller than those directed to the contralateral side. The patients were able to make a corrective saccade and hence to improve gain and to decrease gain asymmetry. It is suggested that patients were able to localise auditory targets correctly, but did not correctly take into account eye position during the saccade, probably as a consequence of an inaccurate efference copy (corollary discharge) signal. The findings are in keeping with the hypothesis that the central thalamus deals with saccades that are based on extraretinal signals.
- central thalamus
- efference copy
- magnetic resonance imaging
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