Cue-dependent memory-based smooth-pursuit in normal human subjects: Importance of extra-retinal mechanisms for initial pursuit

Norie Ito, Graham R. Barnes, Junko Fukushima, Kikuro Fukushima, Tateo Warabi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Using a cue-dependent memory-based smooth-pursuit task previously applied to monkeys, we examined the effects of visual motion-memory on smooth-pursuit eye movements in normal human subjects and compared the results with those of the trained monkeys. These results were also compared with those during simple ramp-pursuit that did not require visual motion-memory. During memory-based pursuit, all subjects exhibited virtually no errors in either pursuit-direction or go/no-go selection. Tracking eye movements of humans and monkeys were similar in the two tasks, but tracking eye movements were different between the two tasks; latencies of the pursuit and corrective saccades were prolonged, initial pursuit eye velocity and acceleration were lower, peak velocities were lower, and time to reach peak velocities lengthened during memory-based pursuit. These characteristics were similar to anticipatory pursuit initiated by extra-retinal components during the initial extinction task of Barnes and Collins (J Neurophysiol 100:1135-1146, 2008b). We suggest that the differences between the two tasks reflect differences between the contribution of extra-retinal and retinal components. This interpretation is supported by two further studies: (1) during popping out of the correct spot to enhance retinal image-motion inputs during memory-based pursuit, pursuit eye velocities approached those during simple ramp-pursuit, and (2) during initial blanking of spot motion during memory-based pursuit, pursuit components appeared in the correct direction. Our results showed the importance of extra-retinal mechanisms for initial pursuit during memory-based pursuit, which include priming effects and extra-retinal drive components. Comparison with monkey studies on neuronal responses and model analysis suggested possible pathways for the extra-retinal mechanisms. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-35
    Number of pages12
    JournalExperimental brain research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


    • Extra-retinal
    • Memory
    • Model
    • Movement preparation
    • Retinal
    • Smooth-pursuit


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