Assimilation of optic flow in saccadic eye movements

Poster Presentation: Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, Pavilion
Session: Eye Movements: Natural world and VR

Hongyi Guo1 (), Alexander Schütz2, Robert Allison1; 1Centre for Vision Research, York University, 2University of Marburg

When executing a saccade during locomotion, the position of the saccade target changes during the movement. Ideally, our visual system should adjust the saccade parameters to compensate for the different optic flow fields. We asked how optic flow affects the parameters of saccades to stationary targets, a question that has not been fully answered. The results showed a strong assimilation effect of optic flow, such that saccade amplitudes were biased in the direction of the optic flow. We estimated that between 13% to 25% of optic flow was assimilated. Moreover, saccade latencies were shorter in optic flow fields. These findings indicate that the oculomotor system partially accounts for the expected displacement due to optic flow in the planning of saccadic eye movements, and are consistent with the assimilation of background motion in smooth pursuit eye movements.

Acknowledgements: This project was made possible by the CREATE-IRTG program, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; abbr. DFG).