Tracking of illusory target motion: Differences between gaze and head responses

Ari Z. Zivotofsky, Lea Averbuch-Heller, Cecil W. Thomas, Vallabh E. Das, Alfred O. Discenna, R. John Leigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We compared ocular and eye-head tracking responses to an illusion of diagonal motion produced when vertical movement of a small visual target was synchronized to horizontal movement of a background display. In response to sinusoidal movement, smooth ocular pursuit followed vertical target motion, with only a small horizontal component. In response to regular stepping movement, all anticipatory saccades were in the direction of the illusion; these erroneous oblique movements were followed by corrective horizontal saccades. When the head was free to move, it usually showed a diagonal trajectory that, for both sinusoidal and stepping target motion, was always in the direction of the illusion; no corrective movements were present. Thus, for our illusory stimuli, eye and head tracking showed qualitative differences that imply that ocular tracking was ultimately controlled by actual target motion but head tracking was controlled by illusory target motion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3029-3035
Number of pages7
JournalVision Research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Head
  • Illusion
  • Oculomotor
  • Saccade
  • Smooth pursuit


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