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Alexander C. Schütz, Elias Delipetkos, Doris I. Braun, Dirk Kerzel, Karl R. Gegenfurtner; Temporal contrast sensitivity during smooth pursuit eye movements. Journal of Vision 2007;7(13):3. doi: 10.1167/7.13.3.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
During smooth pursuit eye movements, stimuli other than the pursuit target move across the retina, and this might affect their detectability. We measured detection thresholds for vertically oriented Gabor stimuli with different temporal frequencies (1, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 Hz) of the sinusoids. Observers kept fixation on a small target spot that was either stationary or moved horizontally at a speed of 8 deg/s. The sinusoid of the Gabor stimuli moved either in the same or in the opposite direction as the pursuit target. Observers had to indicate whether the Gabor stimuli were displayed 4° above or below the target spot. Results show that contrast sensitivity was mainly determined by retinal-image motion but was slightly reduced during smooth pursuit eye movements. Moreover, sensitivity for motion opposite to pursuit direction was reduced in comparison to motion in pursuit direction. The loss in sensitivity for peripheral targets during pursuit can be interpreted in terms of space-based attention to the pursuit target. The loss of sensitivity for motion opposite to pursuit direction can be interpreted as feature-based attention to the pursuit direction.
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