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Changes in horizontal oculomotor behaviour coincide with a shift in visual motion perception

Thilo, Kai V.1,2; Guerraz, Michel1; Bronstein, Adolfo M.1; Gresty, Michael A.1


During full-field rotation of the visual field, subjects commonly experience an initial perception of object-motion which ‘switches’ to a perception of self-motion. We studied the characteristics of the horizontal optokinetic nystagmus responses evoked by a moving visual stimulus in these two perceptual states over a range of stimulus velocities. During self-motion perception mean eye position was found to shift more in the direction of the newly appearing stimulus elements with a slight reduction in slow phase gain in comparison to the nystagmus evoked during object-motion perception. The results may reflect a modified strategy of spatial attention with increased emphasis on anticipatory eye movements during visually induced self-motion perception.

1MRC Human Movement and Balance Unit, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, 8–11 Queen Square, London WCIN 3BG, UK

2Corresponding Author: Kai V. Thilo

Acknowledgements: K.V.T. received support from the Margaret Dix Foundation which is gratefully acknowledged. We would like to thank Dave Buckwell, Bill Cameron and Mary Faldon for their continued assistance.

Received 7 March 2000; accepted 10 April 2000

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.