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Jeffrey B. Mulligan, Scott B. Stevenson; Smooth pursuit of flicker-defined motion. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):493. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.10.493.
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We examined the pursuit response to stimuli defined by space-variant flicker of a dense random dot carrier pattern. On each frame, every element of the pattern could change polarity, with a probability given by a two-dimensional Gaussian distribution. A normal distribution produces a circular region of twinkle, while inverting the distribution results in a spot of static texture in a twinkling surround. In this latter case, the carrier texture could be stationary, or could move with the twinkle modulator, thereby producing first-order motion in the region of the spot. While the twinkle-defined spot produces a strong sensation of motion, the complementary stimulus defined by the absence of twinkle does not; when viewed peripherally, it appears to move in steps even when the generating distribution moves smoothly. We examined pursuit responses to these stimuli using two techniques: 1) the eye movement correlogram, obtained by cross-correlating eye velocity with the velocity of a randomly-moving stimulus; and 2) delayed visual feedback, where transient stabilization of a target can produce spontaneous oscillations of the eye, with a period empirically observed to vary linearly with the applied delay. Both techniques provide an estimate of the internal processing time, which can be as short as 100 milliseconds for a first-order target. Assessed by the correlogram method, the response to flicker-defined motion is delayed by more than 100 milliseconds, and significantly weaker (especially in the vertical dimension). When initially presented in the delayed feedback condition, purely saccadic oscillation is observed. One subject eventually developed smooth oscillations (albeit with significant saccadic intrusions), showing a period-versus-delay slope similar to that observed for first-order targets. This result is somewhat surprising, given that we interpret the slope of the period-versus-delay function as reflecting the balance between position- and velocity-sensitive inputs to pursuit.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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