Influence of previous target motion on anticipatory pursuit deceleration

C. De Hemptinne, G. R. Barnes, M. Missal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    During visual pursuit of a moving target, expected changes in its trajectory often evoke anticipatory smooth pursuit responses. In the present study, we investigated characteristics of anticipatory smooth pursuit decelerations before a change or the end of a target trajectory. Healthy humans had to pursue with the eyes a target moving along a circular path that predictably or unpredictably reversed direction and then retraced its movement back to the starting position. We found that anticipatory eye decelerations were often evoked in temporal expectation of target reversal and of the end of the trajectory. The latency of anticipatory decelerations initiated before target reversal was variable, had poor temporal accuracy and depended on the history of previous trials. Anticipations of the end of the trajectory were more accurate, more precise and were not influenced by previous trials. In this case, subjects probably based their estimate of the end of the trajectory on the duration just experienced before target motion reversal. These results suggest that anticipatory eye decelerations are based on the characteristics of the current or preceding trials depending on the most reliable information available. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)173-184
    Number of pages11
    JournalExperimental brain research
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


    • Anticipation
    • Eye movements
    • Pursuit


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