Differential effects of sleep deprivation on saccadic eye movements

Elisabeth Zils, Andreas Sprenger*, Wolfgang Heide, Jan Born, Steffen Gais

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
39 Zitate (Scopus)


Study Objectives: This study was designed to show the influence of sleep deprivation on different types of saccadic eye movements. Design: Performance of saccadic eye movements was compared after normal sleep and sleep deprivation in a randomized, within-subjects paradigm. Parameters of voluntary and reflexive saccades were measured before and after experimental nights and after a night of recovery sleep. Additionally, subjects spent 1 adaptation night in the laboratory before the experiments. Setting: Experiments took place under controlled laboratory conditions. Participants: Fifteen healthy male volunteers (aged 19-30 years). Interventions: Each subject participated in 1 night of sleep deprivation followed by a night of recovery sleep and, on another occasion, in 2 successive nights of undisturbed sleep. Measurements and Results: Horizontal prosaccades, antisaccades, and memory-guided saccades were recorded by means of electrooculography. They were analysed semiautomatically with respect to accuracy, peak velocity, and latency. Peak velocity was significantly reduced in all saccade tasks after 1 night of sleep deprivation but recovered after another night of sleep. Latency was prolonged after sleep deprivation only for memory-guided saccades; accuracy showed a decrease after 1 night without sleep only for prosaccades. Conclusions: Sleep deprivation has a general impairing effect on the peak velocity of saccades, reflecting possible dysfunction at the level of the brainstem reticular formation. Deficits of accuracy and latency point to dysfunction of specific brain sites such as the supplementary eye field and cerebellum, whereas the cardinal functions of the frontal and parietal eye fields were not affected. These results suggest the possibility of measuring fatigue by means of saccadic parameters, especially saccadic peak velocity.

Seiten (von - bis)1109-1115
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.09.2005

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Gehirn, Hormone, Verhalten - Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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