The origin of ocular microtremor in man.
Spauschus A., Marsden J., Halliday DM., Rosenberg JR., Brown P.
A novel technique for the study of human eye movements was used to investigate the frequency components of ocular drift and microtremor in both eyes simultaneously. The tangential components of horizontal eye accelerations were recorded in seven healthy subjects using light-weight accelerometers mounted on scleral contact lenses during smooth pursuit movements, vestibulo-ocular reflexes and eccentric gaze with and without fixation. Spectral peaks were observed at low (up to 25 Hz) and high (60-90 Hz) frequencies. A multivariate analysis based on partial coherence analysis was used to correct for head movement. After correction, the signals were found to be coherent between the eyes over both low- and high-frequency ranges, irrespective of task, convergence or fixation. It is concluded that the frequency content of ocular drift and microtremor reflects the patterning of low-level drives to the extra-ocular muscle motor units.