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Xiuyun Wu, Miriam Spering; Ocular torsion is related to perceived motion-induced position shifts. Journal of Vision 2019;19(12):11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.12.11.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Ocular torsion (i.e., rotations of the eye about the line of sight) can be induced by visual rotational motion. It remains unclear whether and how such visually induced torsion is related to perception. By using the flash-grab effect, an illusory position shift of a briefly flashed stationary target superimposed on a rotating pattern, we examined the relationship between torsion and perception. In two experiments, 25 observers reported the perceived location of a flash while their three-dimensional eye movements were recorded. In Experiment 1, the flash coincided with a direction reversal of a large, centrally displayed, rotating grating. The grating triggered visually induced torsion in the direction of stimulus rotation. The magnitude of torsional eye rotation correlated with the illusory perceptual position shift. To test whether torsion caused the illusion, in Experiment 2, the flash was superimposed on two peripheral gratings rotating in opposite directions. Even though torsion was eliminated, the illusory position shift persisted. Despite the lack of a causal relationship, the torsion-perception correlations indicate a close link between both systems, either through similar visual-input processing or a boost of visual rotational signal strength via oculomotor feedback.
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