Smooth pursuit eye movements in response to predictable target motions

Vision Res. 1983;23(12):1573-83. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(83)90171-2.


The human smooth pursuit eye movement system has a latency of about 150 msec. However, this study shows that humans can learn to perform zero-latency tracking of targets that move with continuous velocity and amplitude-limited acceleration. Superposition of eye velocity and target velocity records, for our unique target waveforms, demonstrated that the subject was using the correct waveform and not just approximating it with a sinusoid or some other simple waveform. Calculation of the mean square error between target and eye position gave a quantitative measure of how well the human can track. The mean square error between target and eye position was 0.32 deg2 for one thousand seconds of steady-state tracking by seven subjects. For several cycles at a time all subjects were able to reduce this error to less than 0.1 deg2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eye Movements*
  • Humans
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Pursuit, Smooth*
  • Time Factors