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Current Oculomotor Research: Physiological and Psychological Aspects

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    Current Oculomotor Research: Physiological and Psychological Aspects. Eds W Becker, H Deubel, T Mergner. Pp 492; $135. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 2000. ISBN 0-306-46049-1.

    Which European meeting attracts delegates from the diverse fields of neuroscience, ophthalmology, psychology, engineering, medical physics, and neurology? The answer to this question is the European Conference on Eye Movements. This book is an attempt by the editors to condense the proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Eye Movements (1997) into what they feel are the most important contributions to our understanding of eye movements as a whole. A total of 66 papers are presented, 40 of them in full and the remainder in condensed form. As a result of the broad multidisciplinary input to the conference some of the papers represent years of research in very specialised areas. Consequently some are of limited interest and relevance to those of us who whose work and interests lie outside these areas. There were, however, some papers which as an ophthalmologist I found both interesting and enlightening. The generation and control of saccadic eye movements receives a great deal of attention in this volume reflecting its complexity. An interesting paper discusses the perception of saccadic eye movements as being sooner than the actual measured saccade demonstrating switching of visual attention. Functional magnetic resonance imaging is an exciting new development in cortical mapping and three excellent papers are presented. The integration of neural pathways involved in the blink response and reading is also fascinating. This book is well presented and the black and white illustrations are adequate if a little dull. Overall, I think most ophthalmologists would find something of interest in this text but that it is most appropriate to those with a subspecialty interest in eye movement disorders albeit with a degree of selectivity.