Neuropsychology of Eye Movements

Neuropsychology of Eye Movements

Neuropsychology of Eye Movements

Neuropsychology of Eye Movements

Excerpt

The incubation period for using eye movement monitoring to contend with neuropsychological problems is now past. We have at our disposal the technology and the database to facilitate diagnosis, to characterize strengths and limitations of the neuropsychologically impaired, and to guide specific treatment aspects of individuals with certain neurobehavioral problems. Although there is yet much to discover, the reader will find these conclusions reinforced by the following chapters.

The term neuropsychology captures the essence of a rubric that links neuroscience and behavioral science. The extent of overlap that exists with these two areas of scientific endeavor has reached a breadth and depth that finds oculomotor behavior a worthy topic of consideration for researchers and clinicians. Neuropsychology broadly refers to the study of brain-behavior relationships, typically in the context of pathology along either the neurological or the psychological dimension, but always with the assumption of underlying organic dysfunction. The neuropsychological study of eye movements relates various kinds of behaviorally significant central nervous system dysfunction to predictable or predicting types of oculomotor activity.

The organization of chapters in Neuropsychology of Eye Movements is predicated on the importance of first describing relevant eye movement control systems and how these systems function normally. Thus, Jonathan Wirtschafter and Alan Weingarden outline the neurophysiology and central pathways in oculomotor control, emphasizing primarily saccadic and pursuit eye movements. This emphasis is followed throughout the book since these are the main systems through which we interact with the visual environment. Having presented a framework for understanding the anatomy of the oculomotor system, Louise Hainline . . .

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