Eye movements in neurodevelopmental disorders

John A. Sweeney, Yukari Takarae, Carol Macmillan, Beatriz Luna, Nancy J. Minshew

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: The aim of this paper is to review the literature on eye-movement abnormalities associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Eye-movement testing is a non-invasive quantitative approach for evaluating brain systems across the age spectrum. It thus provides a promising methodology for characterizing and documenting maturational abnormalities in brain systems associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Recent findings: Recent oculomotor studies have made significant contributions to the understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders, most notably in autism, attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, and Tourette's syndrome. Notably different patterns of deficits have been found in these disorders and have helped to clarify their pathophysiology. Summary: Eye-movement studies have begun to serve as a useful approach for studying cognitive and neurophysiological aspects of neurodevelopmental disorders. They also have potential as a strategy for establishing quantitative endophenotypes for genetic research, and for monitoring beneficial and adverse effects of pharmacotherapies. Studies are needed that involve larger patient populations, longitudinal characterization of developmental failures, patients free from central nervous system-active medications, and that use functional imaging, as patients perform eye-movement tasks, for direct identification of clinically relevant abnormalities in brain systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Tourette's syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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