Saccadic lateropulsion in Wallenberg syndrome: a window to access cerebellar control of saccades?

Caroline Tilikete, Ansgar Koene, Norbert Nighoghossian, Alain Vighetto, Denis Pélisson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Saccadic lateropulsion is characterized by an undershoot of contralaterally directed saccades, an overshoot of ipsilaterally directed saccades and an ipsilateral deviation of vertical saccades. In Wallenberg syndrome, it is thought to result from altered signals in the olivo-cerebellar pathway to the oculomotor cerebellar network. In the current study we aimed to determine whether saccadic lateropulsion results from a cerebellar impairment of motor related signals or visuo-spatial related signals. We studied the trajectory, the accuracy, the direction and the amplitude of a variety of vertical and oblique saccades produced by five patients and nine control subjects. Some results are consistent with previous data suggesting altered motor related signals. Indeed, the horizontal error of contralesional saccades in patients increased with the desired horizontal saccade size. Furthermore, the initial directional error measured during the saccadic acceleration phase was smaller than the global directional error, suggesting that the eye trajectory curved progressively. However, some other results suggest that the processes that specify the horizontal spatial goal of the saccades might be impaired in the patients. Indeed, the horizontal error of ipsilesional saccades in patients did not change significantly with the desired horizontal saccade size. In addition, when comparing saccades with similar intended direction, it was found that the directional error was inversely related to the vertical saccade amplitude. Thus we conclude that the cerebellum might be involved both in controlling the motor execution of saccades and in determining the visuo-spatial information about their goal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-65
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cerebellum
  • Eye Movements
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Lateral Medullary Syndrome
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Rotation
  • Visual Fields
  • Visual Perception


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