Oculomotor tracking in two dimensions

Kevin C. Engel, John H. Anderson, John F. Soechting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Results from studies of oculomotor tracking in one dimension have indicated that saccades are driven primarily by errors in position, whereas smooth pursuit movements are driven primarily by errors in velocity. To test whether this result generalizes to two-dimensional tracking, we asked subjects to track a target that moved initially in a straight line then changed direction. We found that the general premise does indeed hold true; however, the study of oculomotor tracking in two dimensions provides additional insight. The first saccade was directed slightly in advance of target location at saccade onset. Thus its direction was related primarily to angular positional error. The direction of the smooth pursuit movement after the saccade was related linearly to the direction of target motion with an average slope of 0.8. Furthermore the magnitude and direction of smooth pursuit velocity did not change abruptly; consequently the direction of smooth pursuit appeared to rotate smoothly over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1597-1602
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


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