The Oculomotor System of the Rabbit and its Plasticity
Part of the Studies of brain function series
The invitation to contribute a volume to the series Studies in Brain Func- tion offers me a welcome opportunity for a comprehensive presentation of my research on the eye movements of the rabbit, and for a review of the older results in the perspectives offered by the progress of my own work, but even more of the field in general.
Characteristically this monograph em- phasizes the views of the author, which may not always be generally accept- ed.
Although connections with the work by other investigators are discussed as much as possible, I have not attempted to be complete in reviewing all publications related to oculomotor function in the rabbit.
While presenting an overview of current understanding of a system, it is always wise to trace the historical roots of our knowledge and concepts.
On the one hand, we may find that many established concepts derive their strength more from convention and convenience than from rigorous evi- dence.
Such traditional ideas should be challenged by critical experiments, using the best available techniques. On the other hand, some of the older publications remain a source of inspiration, because they contain valid ideas which generate fruitful experiments even today.
A remarkable example of this category is Ter Braak's work on optokinetic nystagmus, published in 1936.