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Visual tuning to kinematics of biological motion: the role of eye movements

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Abstract

The visual system is particularly sensitive to the covariation between velocity and curvature that constraint biological motion. Previous work showed that, when this biological constraint is satisfied, simple elliptical motion of a dot looks constant, although its velocity is highly non-uniform. This paper addresses the hypothesis that such a dynamic illusion is dependent upon smooth pursuit eye movements. Subjects had to adjust the kinematics of a dot moving along elliptical trajectories until they perceived a constant velocity. Different pursuit and fixation conditions were tested. The research shows that the dynamic illusion is largely independent of eye movements, suggesting that the visual system has access to implicit knowledge of motor constraints regardless of the concurrent oculomotor commands.

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de'Sperati, C., Stucchi, N. Visual tuning to kinematics of biological motion: the role of eye movements. Exp Brain Res 105, 254–260 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00240961

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Key words

  • Perceptuo-motor interactions
  • Eye movements
  • Visual perception
  • Implicit knowledge
  • Motor control