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Boris M. Sheliga, Christian Quaia, Edmond J. FitzGibbon, Bruce G. Cumming; Short-latency ocular following responses to motion stimuli are strongly affected by temporal modulations of the visual content during the initial fixation period. Journal of Vision 2021;21(5):8. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.5.8.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Neuronal and psychophysical responses to a visual stimulus are known to depend on the preceding history of visual stimulation, but the effect of stimulation history on reflexive eye movements has received less attention. Here, we quantify these effects using short-latency ocular following responses (OFRs), a valuable tool for studying early motion processing. We recorded, in human subjects, the horizontal OFRs induced by drifting vertical 1D pink noise. The stimulus was preceded by 600 to 1000 ms of maintained fixation (on a visible cross), and we explored the effect of different stimuli (“fixation patterns”) presented during the fixation period. We found that any temporal modulation present during the fixation period reduced the magnitude of the subsequent OFRs. Even changes in the overall luminance during the fixation period induced significant suppression. The magnitude of the effect was a function of both spatial and temporal structure of the fixation pattern. Suppression that was selective for both relative orientation and relative spatial frequency accounted for a considerable fraction of total suppression. Finally, changes in stimulus temporal structure alone (i.e. “flicker” versus “transparent motion”) led to changes in the spatial frequency tuning of suppression. In the time domain, the suppression developed quickly: 100 ms of temporal modulation in the fixation pattern produced up to 80% of maximal suppression. Recovery from suppression was instead more gradual, taking up to several seconds. By presenting transparent motion during the fixation period, with opposite motion signals having different spatial frequency content, we also discovered a direction-selective component of suppression, which depended on both the frequency and the direction of the moving stimulus.
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