Show Reference: "Saccade-related Purkinje cell activity in the oculomotor vermis during spontaneous eye movements in light and darkness"

Saccade-related Purkinje cell activity in the oculomotor vermis during spontaneous eye movements in light and darkness In Experimental Brain Research, Vol. 103, No. 2. (1995), pp. 198-208, doi:10.1007/bf00231706 by Christoph Helmchen, Ulrich Büttner
    abstract = {Saccade-related Purkinje cells ({PCs}) were recorded in the oculomotor vermis (lobules {VI}, {VII}) during spontaneous eye movements and fast phases of optokinetic and vestibular nystagmus in the light and darkness, from two macaque monkeys. All neurons (n=46) were spontaneously active and exhibited a saccade-related change of activity with all saccades and fast phases of nystagmus. Four types of neurons were found: most neurons (n=31) exhibited a saccade-related burst of activity only ({VBN}); other units (n=7) showed a burst of activity with a subsequent pause ({VBPN}); some of the units (n=5) paused in relation to the saccadic eye movement (pause {units,VPN}); a few {PCs} (n=3) showed a burst of activity in one direction and a pause of activity in the opposite direction. For all neurons, burst activity varied considerably for similar saccades. There were no activity differences between spontaneous saccades and vestibular or optokinetically elicited fast phases of nystagmus. The activity before, during, and after horizontal saccades was quantitatively analyzed. For 24 burst {PCs} ({VBN}, {VBPN}), the burst started before saccade onset in one horizontal direction (preferred direction), on average by 15.3 ms (range 27-5 ms). For all these neurons, burst activity started later in the opposite (non-preferred) direction, on average 4.9 ms (range 20 to -12 ms, Pn=5) lagged saccade onset in all directions. The pause for {VBPN} neurons started after the end of the saccade and reached a minimum of activity some 40–50 ms after saccade completion. For all saccades and quick phases of nystagmus, burst duration increased with saccade duration. Peak burst activity was not correlated with saccade amplitude or peak eye velocity. {PCs} continued to show saccade-related burst activity in the dark. However, in 59\% of the {PCs} ({VBN}, {VBPN}), peak burst activity was significantly reduced in the dark (on average 28\%, range 15–36\%) when saccades with the same amplitude (but longer duration in the dark) were compared. For {VBP} neurons, the pause component after the saccade disappeared in the dark. The difference in peak burst activity (light vs darkness) is similar to that seen for saccade-related neurons in the fastigial oculomotor region ({FOR}, the structure receiving direct input from vermal {PCs}) and suggests that the oculomotor vermis also might affect saccade acceleration and/or deceleration. The findings indicate that in the oculomotor vermis — in contrast to the {FOR} — several different types of saccade-related neurons ({PCs}) are found. However, the vast majority of {PCs} behave qualitatively similar to {FOR} neurons with regard to the burst activity pattern and a direction-specific burst activity onset starting well before saccade onset. This latency will allow these neurons to influence the initiation of saccades in the saccadic brainstem generator through multisynaptic pathways. At present, it has to be determined how (saccade-related) {PC} activity determines {FOR} activity.},
    author = {Helmchen, Christoph and B\"{u}ttner, Ulrich},
    journal = {Experimental Brain Research},
    citeulike-article-id = {13474888},
    citeulike-linkout-0 = {},
    citeulike-linkout-1 = {},
    doi = {10.1007/bf00231706},
    keywords = {biology, cerebellum, saccades},
    number = {2},
    pages = {198--208},
    posted-at = {2015-01-06 14:02:27},
    priority = {2},
    publisher = {Springer-Verlag},
    title = {Saccade-related {P}urkinje cell activity in the oculomotor vermis during spontaneous eye movements in light and darkness},
    url = {},
    volume = {103},
    year = {1995}

See the CiteULike entry for more info, PDF links, BibTex etc.

The cerebellum is involved in saccade generation.

Certain Purkinje cells in the oculomotor vermis of the cerebellum have saccade-related activity: Helmchen and Büttner found neurons which displayed:

  • a saccade-related burst (most of them),
  • a saccade-related burst, followed by a pause,
  • a saccade-related pause,
  • either a pause or a burst, depending on the direction of the saccade.