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2015 Eye Movements GRC/GRS

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? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Conditions that manifest as abnormalities of eye movement have etiologies ranging from peripheral muscle pathology (e.g., gaze palsy) to central cognitive impairment (e.g., schizophrenia). Because eye movements are the key mediators of visual perception, disorders of ocular motility have consequences ranging in severity from blindness and low vision to the inability to perform daily tasks such as reading or crossing the street. Understanding the mechanisms of how eye movements are generated and controlled in the service of visual function holds the key to reducing the public health burden of these pathological states. Our goal is to assemble both early-career and established oculomotor and vision scientists for the dual purpose of assessing the current state of our field and for mapping its future direction. Such timely and focused scientific interaction is a key to progress on ameliorating the impact of oculomotor and visual diseases. The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) format is renowned for promoting meaningful and productive interactions by creating an environment that is at once informal and intensely focused on the very latest, cutting-edge research in the field. The first ever GRC on eye movements was in 2005, followed by meetings in 2007, 2011, and 2013. Each meeting has witnessed both conceptual and physical growth in the field, with 2013 the most successful to date. In addition to a range of topics that expanded the scope of the oculomotor field, the 2013 meeting included the first ever eye movement Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) designed to promote the careers of trainees. Seizing on this momentum, we will hold our second GRS in concert with a 2015 GRC that will reveal fresh perspectives on core oculomotor issues. Oculomotor Biomarkers For Psychiatric Disorders, considers the clinical implications of ocular motility for understanding neurological impairment; The Why and Where of Looking: Eye Movements for Natural Vision, considers the rules that govern oculomotor interrogation of the visual world; Eye Fields in Nonhuman Primates and Humans, examines similarities and differences in the cortical control of volitional eye movements across species; Just Can't Wait: Anticipatory Visual Analysis before Saccades explores how ocular motility impacts visual perception from neurophysiological and behavioral perspectives; Hering or Helmholtz? Probing the Interactions between Conjugate and Disconjugate Gaze, examines fundamental questions relating to the neural control of the two eyes; Vision, Efference Copy, and Probabilistic Inference: Insights into Vestibular Function and Development, presents the latest insights into visual-vestibular interactions; and Optogenetics and Eye Movements: What have we Learned, What can we Learn? looks to the future to consider how the emergence of optogenetics could transform understanding of eye movement control. The present proposal requests support for a comprehensive and forward-looking program designed to disseminate the latest knowledge, foster novel collaborative efforts, and advance the careers of future oculomotorists, all in the service of enhancing the impact of oculomotor research.
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