Oculomotor Assessment

What Is It?

Video-oculography (VOG) is a complete diagnostic system for recording and analyzing eye movements using video image technology equipped with infrared cameras mounted in a pair of goggles, precisely tracking the center of each pupil during movements. VOG testing is a non-invasive and easy test to administer, yet yields powerful assessments of complex neural networks with associations to cognition, behavior (1), and spatial orientation.

Why is it Important?

The oculomotor system has two main goals: acquiring accurate fixation with both eyes and preventing slippage of images on the retina. These goals are accomplished by six different types of movements including fixation, smooth pursuit, saccade, vestibulo-ocular, optokinetic, and vergence (2,3). Coordinating these different eye movements purposefully and simultaneously with exact time and accuracy, requires an extensive neural network integrating information for purposeful directions (frontal lobe), perception of space (posterior parietal cortex), velocity and step commands (vestibular system/brainstem), visual processing (occipital lobe), and trajectory and accuracy (cerebellum) (2-8).

How does it Work?

VOG is designed to detect subtle ocular motility abnormalities which may be spontaneous or induced, yielding valuable information regarding not only the location of a potential dysfunction, but also gives insight to potential behavioral, spatial orientation, cognitive (1,9), coordination, or equilibrium issues (2-9).

How does it Help?

Eye movement assessments may also contribute, but are not limited, to the identification of patients with potential cognitive impairments (5), neurodevelopment disorders (6), neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease (PD) (7) and those patients who may be susceptible to developing post-concussion syndrome (PCS) following a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) (8).


  1. Luna, B., Valeanova, K., Geier, C.F., 2008. Development of eye-movement control. Brain Cogn. 68, 293-308, http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-neuro-071714-034054.
  2. Collins CC. The human oculomotor control system. In: Lennerstrand G, Bach–y-Rita P (eds) Basic mechanism of ocular motility and their clinical implications. New York: Pergamon, 1975:145–180
  3. Robinson DA. The purpose of eye movements. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1978; 17:835–837
  4. Bruce, C. J., and Goldberg, M. E. (1985). Primate frontal eye fields. I. Single neurons discharging before saccades. J. Neurophysiol. 53, 603–635.
  5. Pierrot-Deseilligny, C., Ploner, C. J., Muri, R. M., Gaymard, B., and Rivaud-Pechoux, S. (2002). Effects of cortical lesions on saccadic: eye movements in humans. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 956, 216–229. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb02821.x
  6. Kettner, R. E., Mahamud, S., Leung, H. C., Sitkoff, N., Houk, J. C., Peterson, B. W., et al. (1997). Prediction of complex two-dimensional trajectories by a cerebellar model of smooth pursuit eye movement. Journal of Neurophysiology, 77 (4), 2115–2130.
  7. Medina, J. F., & Lisberger, S. G. (2008). Links from complex spikes to local plasticity and motor learning in the cerebellum of awake-behaving monkeys. Nature Neuroscience, 11 (10), 1185–1192.
  8. Medina, J. F., & Lisberger, S. G. (2009). Encoding and decoding of learned smooth-pursuit eye movements in the floccular complex of the monkey cerebellum. Journal of Neurophysiology, 102 (4), 2039–2054.
  9. William V. Padula, Jose E. Capo-Aponte, William V. Padula, Eric L. Singman & Jonathan Jenness (2017): The consequence of spatial visual processing dysfunction caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI), Brian Injury, DOI: 1080/02699052.2017.1291991

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