Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Visual Tracking

  • Uraina S. ClarkEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1415


During visual tracking, the main objective of the observer is to keep the image of the fixated item on the fovea, the area of the retina where visual resolution is best. Normally, the observer tracks moving targets using a combination of smooth pursuit movements and small saccades. Smooth pursuit movements allow the observer to track a moving object, while saccades (derived from the French word for jerk or to pull) allow the observer to quickly redirect their gaze to the object of interest. During smooth pursuit, eye velocities are generated that approximate the velocity of the moving target object. When the eyes and target are in synch, the velocity of the target’s retinal image is reduced to zero. If the eyes fall short of, or overshoot the target, saccades are generated to reposition the image of the target object back on to the region of the fovea. During visual tracking, the vestibulo-ocular reflex and optokinetic movements permit the observer to compensate for head...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Further Reading

  1. Barton, J. J. S. (2001). Brain damage and eye movements. In M. Behrmann (Ed.), Handbook of neuropsychology (2 ed., Vol. 4, pp. 15–44). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  2. Hikosaka, O., Takikawa, Y., & Kawagoe, R. (2000). Role of the basal ganglia in the control of purposive saccadic eye movements. Physiological Reviews, 80 (3), 953–978.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA