505 J Davis Armistead Building

4901 Calhoun Road

Houston, TX 77204

Ph: 713-743-3292

Fax: 713-743-2053

E-mail: vdas@optometry.uh.edu

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Some Examples of Strabismus

A convergent (esotropia or cross-eyes) form of strabismus in a child

A divergent (exotropia or wall-eyes) form of strabismus in the famous painter Rembrandt (self-portrait)

A vertical (hypertropia) form of strabismus in Abraham Lincoln (left eye higher than right eye).

Welcome to the home pages of the Oculomotor Neurophysiology Laboratory located in the College of Optometry, University of Houston.

The focus of research in our laboratory is to examine oculomotor mechanisms in non‐human primate models for strabismus. Strabismus (a.k.a. cross-eyes, squint) is a developmental disorder affecting 2‐4% of all human infants. Though the exact etiology of strabismus is still unknown, it is clear that disruption of binocular visual information in infancy plays a critical role in development of strabismus. We know relatively little about disruptions in neural oculomotor circuits in this disease, though motor structures must also be involved in maintaining the steady‐state strabismus. The possible involvement of motor structures ranges from altered muscle lengths to neural mechanisms that alter extraocular muscle tone or contractility. A rather simple demonstration of the involvement of motor structures is that an experimental lesion of primary visual cortex, V1, in the monkey does not cause eye misalignment, but lesions in the midline cerebellum do. Our research is therefore directed towards identifying and understanding the roles of specific “motor” areas in the brain that may be involved in producing oculomotor properties describing the strabismus state. Our strategy is to utilize a basic science approach with studies in monkey models, incorporating concepts, tools and techniques developed via basic science studies of the oculomotor system. To this end, we use a multi‐pronged strategy involving behavioral studies of eye alignment, eye movements and ocular accommodation, MRI studies evaluating extraocular muscle (EOM) structure and single cell recording studies of information processing in oculomotor circuits. These studies are funded by the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.