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James Mathew, J. Randall Flanagan, Frederic R. Danion; Gaze behavior during visuomotor tracking with complex hand-cursor dynamics. Journal of Vision 2019;19(14):24. https://doi.org/10.1167/19.14.24.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The ability to track a moving target with the hand has been extensively studied, but few studies have characterized gaze behavior during this task. Here we investigate gaze behavior when participants learn a new mapping between hand and cursor motion, such that the cursor represented the position of a virtual mass attached to the grasped handle via a virtual spring. Depending on the experimental condition, haptic feedback consistent with mass-spring dynamics could also be provided. For comparison a simple one-to-one hand-cursor mapping was also tested. We hypothesized that gaze would be drawn, at times, to the cursor in the mass-spring conditions, especially in the absence of haptic feedback. As expected hand tracking performance was less accurate under the spring mapping, but gaze behavior was virtually unaffected by the spring mapping, regardless of whether haptic feedback was provided. Specifically, relative gaze position between target and cursor, rate of saccades, and gain of smooth pursuit were similar under both mappings and both haptic feedback conditions. We conclude that even when participants are exposed to a challenging hand-cursor mapping, gaze is primarily concerned about ongoing target motion suggesting that peripheral vision is sufficient to monitor cursor position and to update hand movement control.
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