Estimating heading during eye movements

Vision Res. 1994 Dec;34(23):3197-214. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(94)90084-1.


In eight experiments, we examined the ability to judge heading during tracking eye movements. To assess the use of retinal-image and extra-retinal information in this task, we compared heading judgments with executed as opposed to simulated eye movements. In general, judgments were much more accurate during executed eye movements. Observers in the simulated eye movement condition misperceived their self-motion as curvilinear translation rather than the linear translation plus eye rotation that was simulated. There were some experimental conditions in which observers could judge heading reasonably accurately during simulated eye movements; these included conditions in which eye movement velocities were 1 deg/sec or less and conditions which made available a horizon cue that exists for locomotion parallel to a ground plane with a visible horizon. Overall, our results imply that extra-retinal, eye-velocity signals are used in determining heading under many, perhaps most, viewing conditions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Cues
  • Differential Threshold
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Locomotion
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Movement*
  • Retina / physiology
  • Rotation
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Perception / physiology*