“It seems counterintuitive to use the eyes to screen for memory problems, but these systems are so nicely coupled that it makes sense to use eye-tracking to evaluate memory. Our neuroimaging and eye-tracking study demonstrates there could be a cyclical relationship between the eyes and memory that continually feeds information back and forth.”

– Dr. Jennifer Ryan, senior investigator on the study and senior scientist at the Rotman Research Institute (RRI).

Baycrest researchers have uncovered an important link between eye movements and the brain’s memory system that bolsters the case for using eye-tracking technology to evaluate memory problems and aid in earlier detection of dementia.

This is the first time researchers have used neuroimaging to show a direct functional connection between the oculomotor network (the brain system controlling the eye’s movements) and the brain’s hippocampus (a structure in the brain crucial to creating memories) in healthy adults.

This work supports their development of an eye-tracking cognitive assessment that could one day help doctors evaluate cognitive decline in clients. Find out more about their recent findings here.