Detailed measurements of saccadic latency--the time taken to make an eye movement to a suddenly-presented visual target--have proved a valuable source of detailed and quantitative information in a wide range of neurological conditions, as well as shedding light on the mechanisms of decision, currently of intense interest to cognitive neuroscientists. However, there is no doubt that more complex oculomotor tasks, and in particular the antisaccade task in which a participant must make a saccade in the opposite direction to the target, are potentially more sensitive indicators of neurological dysfunction, particularly in neurodegenerative conditions. But two obstacles currently hinder their widespread adoption for this purpose. First, that much of the potential information from antisaccade experiments, notably about latency distribution and amplitude, is typically thrown away. Second, that there is no standardised protocol for carrying out antisaccade experiments, so that results from one laboratory cannot easily be compared with those from another. This paper, the outcome of a recent international meeting of oculomotor scientists and clinicians with an unusually wide experience of such measurements, sets out a proposed protocol for clinical antisaccade trials: its adoption will greatly enhance the clinical and scientific benefits of making these kinds of measurements.
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Attention, Clinical Trials as Topic, Humans, Photic Stimulation, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Research Design, Saccades