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Alexander Goettker, Doris I. Braun, Karl R. Gegenfurtner; Dynamic combination of position and motion information when tracking moving targets. Journal of Vision 2019;19(7):2. doi: 10.1167/19.7.2.
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To accurately foveate a moving target, the oculomotor system needs to estimate the position of the target at the saccade end, based on information about its position and ongoing movement, while accounting for neuronal delays and execution time of the saccade. We investigated human interceptive saccades and pursuit responses to moving targets defined by high and low luminance contrast or by chromatic contrast only (isoluminance). We used step-ramps with perpendicular directions between vertical target steps of 10 deg/s and horizontal ramps of 2.5 to 20 deg/s to separate errors with respect to the position step of the target in the vertical dimension, and errors related to target motion in the horizontal dimension. Interceptive saccades to targets of high and low luminance contrast landed close to the actual target positions, suggesting relatively accurate estimates of the amount of target displacement. Interceptive saccades to isoluminant targets were less accurate. They landed at positions the target had on average 100 ms before saccade onset. One account of this finding is that the integration of target motion is compromised for isoluminant targets moving in the periphery. In this case, the oculomotor system can use an accurate, but delayed position component, but cannot account for target movement. This deficit was also present for the postsaccadic pursuit speed. For the two luminance conditions, pursuit direction and speed were adjusted depending on the saccadic landing position. The rapid postsaccadic pursuit adjustments suggest shared position- and motion-related signals of target and eye for saccade and pursuit control.
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