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Laurent Madelain, Richard J. Krauzlis; Pursuit of the ineffable: perceptual and motor reversals during the tracking of apparent motion. Journal of Vision 2003;3(11):1. doi: 10.1167/3.11.1.
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Pursuit can be guided by perceived rather than physical motion, but the temporal relationship between motion perception and pursuit is unknown. We used an apparent motion stimulus consisting of a horizontal row of evenly spaced Kanizsa illusory squares (1.44 deg2): the illusory contours appeared at the midpoints of the illusory squares presented in the previous frame, producing bi-directional apparent motion of the illusory contours (21.5 deg/s) that could be reversed at will. We measured eye movements in five subjects asked to (1) track the motion of the illusory squares, and (2) reverse the perceived direction while continuing to track the squares. We measured the timing of the voluntary perceptual reversals and compared this to the time course of the reversal in tracking direction. We found that subjects could smoothly track the apparent motion of illusory squares and also produce saccade-free reversals in pursuit velocity. The time course of these motor reversals closely followed the measurements of the perceptual reversal and, on average, the perceptual reversals preceded the pursuit reversals by 53 ms, a delay shorter than when the perceptual reversal was visually guided. Smooth pursuit and the perception of motion direction were in temporal register and highly correlated, suggesting that pursuit can provide a real-time readout for the state of motion perception.
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