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date: 12 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The present chapter describes the structures in the visual system relevant for the optokinetic reflex (OKR), their evolution and functional significance, as well as the neuronal substrate in vertebrates. After a phylogenetic overview of representative vertebrates investigated so far, the OKR in mammals will be described to characterize ontogenetic changes as well as certain pathologies. This will emphasize the importance of this basic reflex for judging developmental stage, damage after acquired lesions or maldevelopment, and for diagnosis of neurological disorders.

Keywords: visual system, optokinetic reflex, ontogenetic changes, oculocutaneous albinism, neurological disorders

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