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Ivar A. H. Clemens, Luc P. J. Selen, Mathieu Koppen, W. Pieter Medendorp; Visual stability across combined eye and body motion. Journal of Vision 2012;12(12):8. doi: 10.1167/12.12.8.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In order to maintain visual stability during self-motion, the brain needs to update any egocentric spatial representations of the environment. Here, we use a novel psychophysical approach to investigate how and to what extent the brain integrates visual, extraocular, and vestibular signals pertaining to this spatial update. Participants were oscillated sideways at a frequency of 0.63 Hz while keeping gaze fixed on a stationary light. When the motion direction changed, a reference target was shown either in front of or behind the fixation point. At the next reversal, half a cycle later, we tested updating of this reference location by asking participants to judge whether a briefly flashed probe was shown to the left or right of the memorized target. We show that updating is not only biased, but that the direction and magnitude of this bias depend on both gaze and object location, implying that a gaze-centered reference frame is involved. Using geometric modeling, we further show that the gaze-dependent errors can be caused by an underestimation of translation amplitude, by a bias of visually perceived objects towards the fovea (i.e., a foveal bias), or by a combination of both.
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