Abstract Using electro-oculography, we quantitatively investigated eye movements in nine heavy cocaine abusers and three groups of controls. Plasma levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG), a major metabolite of brain norepinephrine, in cocaine abusers were reduced to an average of 53% of normal Cocaine abusers had normal smooth pursuit, optokinetic nystagmus, vestibulo-ocular reflex, visual suppression of the vestibulo-ocular reflex, and caloric nystagmus. Data were suggestive of a significant reduction in the degree of immediate enhancement of visual-vestibulo-ocular reflex gain by magnified vision in the cocaine abusers. However, adaptive plasticity of the vestibulo-ocular reflex was normal in the cocaine abusers. These results suggest that, despite animal data linking vestibulo-ocular reflex plasticity to central norepinephrine, this neurotransmitter may not be important to plasticity in human beings.