You are on page 1of 4

1.

Accomodation Reflex

Focus both eyes on the tip of a pencil held at eye level and at arm's length. While focussing on the pencil tip, indicate whether or not the objects in the background are in focus. Keeping the same line of sight, focus on the objects in the background. What happens to the image of the pencil tip.

The distance from the eye to the nearest object that can be focussed on clearly is called the ner point of vision. To find the near point:
• • • • • • •

Cover one eye, and focus on a piece of newspaper. Gradually bring the newspaper closer and closer to your eye until the letters just go out of focus. Have your partner measure the distance (in cm) between the newspaper and your eye. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the other eye. Record the near point for both eyes. Give a physiological explanation for what has occurred in both parts of this experiment. Why can a person not see objects clearly when they are positioned closer to the eye than the near point? What happens to the near point as a person ages? Why does this occur?

A reflex adjustment of the eyes for near vision that occurs in response to an object appearing suddenly in front of the face and that consists of pupillary constriction, ocular convergence, and increased convexity of the lenses. See also accommodation (1), ciliary reflex. Accommodation reflex II III Sensory-motor The accommodation reflex is a reflex action of the eye, in response to focusing on a near object, then looking at distant object (and vice versa), comprising coordinated changes in vergence, lens shape and pupil size. It is dependent on cranial nerve II (afferent limb of reflex), higher centres and cranial nerve III.

Light from a single point of a distant object and light from a single point of a near object being brought to a focus. A near object (for example, a computer screen) appears large in the field of vision, and the eye receives light from wide angles. When moving focus from a distant to a near

object, the eyes converge. The ciliary muscle contracts making the lens more convex, shortening its focal length. The pupil constricts in order to prevent diverging light rays from hitting the periphery of the retina and resulting in a blurred image.

[edit] Pathway
Light from each retina is taken to the occipital lobe via the optic nerve and optic radiation, where it is interpreted as vision. The peristriate area 19 interprets accommodation, and sends signals via the Edinger-Westphal nucleus and the 3rd cranial nerve to the ciliary muscle[citation needed].
In summary then, the Accommodation Reflex consists of: (1) change in the refractive power of the lens. (2) vergence movements of the eyes (convergence). (3) change in the size of the pupil.

2.1 Accommodation allows the eye to focus on near objects If the refractive index of the eye's lens system were fixed, then objects at only one given distance from the eye could produce sharply focused retinal images. It can be shown by simple geometrical optics that if, for instance, a distant object is brought closer to the eye, the image of this object would come into sharp focus in a plane behind that of the retina (resulting in a blurred image on the retina), unless the refractive power of the eye is increased. Although, most of the refractive power resides in the cornea, adjustments in the overall refractive power are done by the lens (i.e. the lens changes its shape, Fig. 6). In order to obtain sharp retinal images over a wide range of object distances, the eye has to be capable of modifying its refractive power according to object distance. This process, referred to as accommodation of the lens, consists of a reflex induced change in the thickness (curvature) of the eye's lens. Normally (when looking at a distant environment) the elastic lens is held in a somewhat flattened shape by tension exerted on its periphery by radially oriented suspensory ligaments (zonal fibres) inserted in the sphincter of the radial ciliary smooth muscle fibres (Figs. 5 and 7). These ligaments pull the edges of the elastic lens capsule towards the surrounding ciliary body and by opposing the internal pressure within the elastic lens, keep it relatively flattened. When, in response to a conscious effort to fixate a near object, the ciliary sphincter muscle reflexly contracts, the diameter of its annulus around the lens decreases, the suspensory filaments slacken, and the radial tension around the circumference of the lens is released. The lens, due to its internal pressure, passively assumes a more spherical shape, resulting in an increased refractive power. Conversely, if an attempt is made to fixate a more distant object, the ciliary sphincter muscle relaxes, the diameter of its annulus around the lens increases, resulting in increased tension along the edges of the lens via the radial filaments. This in turn tends to flatten the lens and decrease its surface curvature, with consequent decrease in its refractive power. Thus, accommodation is a passive (elastic) response by the lens, as a consequence of a sphincter-like reflex action of the ciliary muscle. This reflex is under parasympathetic control.

In addition to lens accommodation, an attempt to fixate a near object is accompanied by (1) convergence of the two visual axis, so that both eyes are looking at the same object: and (2) constriction of the pupils, primarily due to an increased parasympathetic drive to the circular muscles of the iris diaphragm. As in the case of a camera, a smaller aperture gives a greater depth of focus, and results in reduced image distortion.

There are two visual reflexes that are clinically important and whose reflex arcs must be understood.

1. Pupillary light reflex 2. Near response (near-point reaction, near reflex), which has three components
a. Accommodation of the lens b. Convergence of the eyes c. Constriction of the pupil

Inputs
1. Pupillary light reflex: This reflex depends on input to the pretectal region (fig 7j, fig 7k) from the retina. The pretectal region (pretectum) (#6307) is adjacent to the posterior commissure (#6305). Collaterals of ganglion cell axons leave the optic tract to go to the pretectum (and also to the superior colliculus) (#4359). As these collateral axons pass over the surface of the brain stem they are called the brachium of the superior colliculus. The relation of the pretectal region (#6307) to the corpus callosum, thalamus, and inferior temporal lobe can be seen in myelin (#6306) or gross coronal sections (fig 7l). What is the significance of the pretectal area in the light reflex? What is the direct light reflex? What is a consensual reflex? 2. Near response: This reflex (see movie) depends on input to the near-response area of the midbrain from visual cortex pathways. The visual association cortex projects to parietal cortex and the frontal eye fields (#74245). These latter cortical areas project to the nearresponse area, dorsal and dorsolateral to the oculomotor nucleus. Common efferent arm – CN III: The pupillary light reflex and the near response have a common efferent path – the oculomotor nerve (cranial nerve III) (#4729). The efferent arm of these reflexes consists of pre- and postganglionic parasympathetic neurons. The EdingerWestphal nucleus (#6310) contains the preganglionic cell bodies. Depending on the author, this nucleus is either part of the oculomotor nucleus (oculomotor nuclear complex) or an adjacent separate nucleus. The oculomotor nucleus is at the level of the superior colliculus near the midline ventral to the aqueduct and periaqueductal gray. The axons forming nerve III are seen in #6312. Note their relationship to the cerebral peduncle and the red nucleus (fig 7k). The postganglionic axons end in the sphincter pupillae of the iris and the ciliary muscle. Where are the postganglionic cell bodies located (#52066)? What is the action of the ciliary muscle? Which reflex (pupillary light reflex or near-response) also uses somatic motor neurons to extraocular muscles?