Effects of stationary and moving textured backgrounds on the visuo-oculo-manual tracking in humans

Vision Res. 1995 Mar;35(6):837-52. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(94)00185-o.


We investigated the effects of stationary and moving textured backgrounds on ocular and manual pursuit of a discrete target that suddenly starts to move at constant speed (ramp motion). When a stationary textured background was superimposed to the target displacement, the gain of the steady-state eye smooth pursuit velocity was significantly reduced, while the latency of pursuit initiation did not vary significantly, as compared to a dark background condition. The initial velocity of the eye smooth pursuit was also lowered. Both the initial acceleration and the steady-state manual tracking angular velocity were slightly, but not significantly, lowered when compared to a dark background condition. Detrimental effects of the stationary textured background were of comparable amplitude (approximately 10%) for ocular and manual pursuit. In a second condition, we compared ocular and manual pursuit when the textured background was either stationary or drifting. Initial and steady-state eye velocities increased when the textured background moved in the same direction as the target. Conversely, when the background moved in the opposite direction, both velocities were decreased. Eye displacement gain remained however close to unity due to an increase in the occurrence of catch-up corrective saccades. The effects of the moving backgrounds on the initial and steady-state forearm velocities were inverse to that reported for smooth pursuit eye movements. Neither manual nor ocular smooth pursuit latencies were affected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Forearm
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Pursuit, Smooth / physiology*
  • Saccades / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Fields