Dynamics of the disparity vergence step response: A model-based analysis

Weihong Yuan, John L. Semmlow, Tara L. Alvarez, Paula Munoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A new method to analyze the dynamics of vergence eye movements was developed based on a reconstruction of the presumed motor command signal. A model was used to construct equivalent motor command signals and transform an associated vergence transient response into an equivalent set of motor commands. This model represented only the motor components of the vergence system and consisted of signal generators representing the neural burst and tonic cells and a plant representing the ocular musculature and dynamics of the orbit. Through highly accurate simulations, dynamic vergence responses could be reduced to a set of five model parameters, each relating to a specific feature of the internal motor command. This dynamic analysis tool was applied to the analysis of inter-movement variability in vergence step responses. Model parameters obtained from a large number of response simulations showed that the width of the command pulse was tightly controlled while its amplitude, rising slope, and failing slope were less tightly regulated. Variation in the latter three parameters accounted for most of the movement-to-movement variability seen in vergence step responses. Unlike version movements, pulse width did not increase with increased stimulus amplitude, although the other command signal parameters were substantially influenced by stimulus amplitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1191-1198
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Dynamic analysis
  • Eye movement models
  • Eye movements
  • Oculomotor vergence
  • Vergence motor control


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