To maintain a clear and stable view of the environment, we use reflexes to rotate our eyes in a direction that is opposite to any head motion that occurs. The reflexes are driven by both vestibular and visual inputs. When the head rotates to the right, the angular vestibulo-ocular reflex causes the eyes to rotate to the left, such that gaze remains stable in space. If the head translates to the right, the translational vestibulo-ocular reflex can rotate the eyes to the left to compensate for the potential motion of the retinal images of near targets. These vestibulo-ocular reflexes operate in synergy with visuo-ocular reflexes, the best understood being optokinetic nystagmus. This chapter summarizes the basic properties of these reflexes, with an emphasis on behavioral observations.
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