ELi5 Why can’t we move our eyes asynchronously?


ELi5 Why can’t we move our eyes asynchronously?

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There are structures in the brain that “yoke” eyes together. When you send an impulse to move your eyes, such as horizontally, that impulse gets sent to a smaller hub (cranial nerve nuclei). This sends the signal to one eye to move and at the same time to a second hub so that the other eye will move too. There really isn’t a way to move eyes separately as when you send the signal to look one way both work at the same time. I suppose people who can cross their eyes are the exception but generally that is how it works.

See: https://youtu.be/AEwuRWT5S3Q

Dr. Andrew Lee explains this pretty well as well as pathologic conditions where it doesn’t work.

Some people can. There are quite a few videos of people being able to do it. And even a video on how to do it. I knew a kid in school that could move one eye and not the other.