October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
Behaviorally dependent properties of retinal motion during natural locomotion
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karl Muller
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Kate Bonnen
    New York University
  • Jonathan Matthis
    Northeastern University
  • Alexander Huk
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Mary Hayhoe
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  Supported by Grants R01 EY05729, 5T32LM012414-04, K99 EY028229
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 799. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.799
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      Karl Muller, Kate Bonnen, Jonathan Matthis, Alexander Huk, Mary Hayhoe; Behaviorally dependent properties of retinal motion during natural locomotion. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):799. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.799.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Patterns of motion on the retina during locomotion depend critically on both eye and body motion, and these in turn depend on behavioral goals. In rocky terrain, walkers look close to the body to locate stable footholds, whereas in smooth terrain, gaze is mostly on more distant regions (Matthis et al, Current Biology 2018). In order to describe the statistics of retinal motion over a range of different eye movement patterns, we recorded eye and body movements during natural locomotion, together with video from a head- mounted camera, using a Pupil Labs mobile eye tracker integrated with an IMU-based motion capture suit. Eye movement data were analyzed to extract the fixations and then aligned relative to gaze location. Using video-based optic flow estimation of the retinally-aligned images, we derived retinal motion patterns during locomotion over a variety of terrains, during the periods of stable gaze. Analysis of retinal motion inputs expressed as the magnitude of expansive and rotational motion at each retinal location reveals complex spatial structure that depends both on the lateral angle of gaze relative to translation direction, and also the gaze angle relative to gravity. More eccentric gaze relative to body translation direction affects the rotational components of motion, with little effect on the expansive components, which varies primarily as a function of distance from the subject. Conversely, gaze angle relative to gravity affects primarily the expansion component with little effect on the rotational components. At downward gaze angles, there is greater expansion in the upper visual field compared to lower. At gaze angles closer to the horizon there is greater expansion in the lower visual field. Since gaze varies systematically with gait patterns and terrain complexity, this allows the selection of behaviorally-relevant representative motion stimuli for both physiological and psychophysical experiments.


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