A cross-coupling model of vertical vergence adaptation
Vertical disparity vergence aligns the two eyes in response to vertical misalignment (disparity) of the two ocular images. An adaptive response to vertical disparity vergence is demonstrated by the continuation of vertical vergence when one eye is occluded. The adaptive response is quantified by vertical phoria, the eye alignment error during monocular viewing. Vertical phoria can be differentially adapted to vertical disparities of opposite sign located at two positions along the horizontal or vertical head-referenced axes. Vertical phoria aftereffects vary in amplitude as the eyes move from one adapted direction of gaze to another along the adaptation axis. A cross-coupling model was developed to account for the spatial variations of vertical phoria aftereffects. The model is constrained according to both single cell recordings of eye position sensitive neurons, and eye position measurements during and following adaptation. The vertical phoria is computed by scaling the activities of eye position sensitive neurons and converting the scaled activities into a vertical vergence signal. The three components of the model are: neural activities associated with conjugate eye position, cross-coupling weights to scale the activities, and vertical vergence transducers to convert the weighted activities to vertical vergence. The model provides a biologically plausible mechanism for vertical vergence adaptation.
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