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B. M. Sheliga, C. Quaia, E. J. FitzGibbon, B. G. Cumming; Human short-latency ocular vergence responses produced by interocular velocity differences. Journal of Vision 2016;16(10):11. doi: 10.1167/16.10.11.
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We studied human short-latency vergence eye movements to a novel stimulus that produces interocular velocity differences without a changing disparity signal. Sinusoidal luminance gratings moved in opposite directions (left vs. right; up vs. down) in the two eyes. The grating seen by each eye underwent ¼-wavelength shifts with each image update. This arrangement eliminated changing disparity cues, since the phase difference between the eyes alternated between 0° and 180°. We nevertheless observed robust short-latency vergence responses (VRs), whose sign was consistent with the interocular velocity differences (IOVDs), indicating that the IOVD cue in isolation can evoke short-latency VRs. The IOVD cue was effective only when the images seen by the two eyes overlapped in space. We observed equally robust VRs for opposite horizontal motions (left in one eye, right in the other) and opposite vertical motions (up in one eye, down in the other). Whereas the former are naturally generated by objects moving in depth, the latter are not part of our normal experience. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a behavioral consequence of vertical IOVD. This may reflect the fact that some neurons in area MT are sensitive to these motion signals (Czuba, Huk, Cormack, & Kohn, 2014). VRs were the strongest for spatial frequencies in the range of 0.35–1 c/°, much higher than the optimal spatial frequencies for evoking ocular-following responses observed during frontoparallel motion. This suggests that the two motion signals are detected by different neuronal populations. We also produced IOVD using moving uncorrelated one-dimensional white-noise stimuli. In this case the most effective stimuli have low speed, as predicted if the drive originates in neurons tuned to high spatial frequencies (Sheliga, Quaia, FitzGibbon, & Cumming, 2016).
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