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Doris I. Braun, Lars Pracejus, Karl R. Gegenfurtner; Motion aftereffect elicits smooth pursuit eye movements. Journal of Vision 2006;6(7):1. doi: 10.1167/6.7.1.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
A moving stimulus is normally required to elicit smooth pursuit eye movements that serve to keep the retinal image of moving objects on the fovea. Recent experiments have shown that in cases where motion cues are ambiguous, pursuit eye movements tend to agree in direction and speed with the percept of motion. Here, we exploit the motion aftereffect (MAE) to show for the first time that smooth pursuit eye movements can also be elicited by the illusory motion of a stationary stimulus. After prolonged exposure to a moving stimulus, subjects show reliable pursuit of a physically stationary stimulus that is perceived to be moving. Conversely, the eyes remain stationary when viewing a physically moving stimulus that is perceived to be stationary. The MAE biases smooth eye movements in a way that agrees with the constant offset that is required to null the MAE perceptually. The agreement between perception and pursuit holds over a variety of stimulus conditions that modulate the magnitude of the MAE.
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