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Dorion Liston, Richard J. Krauzlis; Shared decision signal explains performance and timing of pursuit and saccadic eye movements. Journal of Vision 2005;5(9):3. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/5.9.3.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Each voluntary eye movement provides physical evidence of a visuomotor choice about where and when to look. Primates choose visual targets with two types of voluntary eye movements, pursuit and saccades, although the exact mechanism underlying their coordination remains unknown. Are pursuit and saccades guided by the same decision signal? The present study compares pursuit and saccadic choices using techniques borrowed from psychophysics and models of response time. Human observers performed a luminance discrimination task and indicated their choices with eye movements. Because the stimuli moved horizontally and were offset vertically, subjects' tracking responses consisted of combinations of both pursuit and saccadic eye movements. For each of two signal strengths, we constructed speed–accuracy curves for pursuit and saccades. We found that speed–accuracy curves for pursuit and saccades have the same shape, but are time-shifted with respect to one another. We argue that this pattern occurs because pursuit and saccades share a decision signal, but utilize different response thresholds and are subject to different motor processing delays.
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