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Perceived localizations and eye movements with action-generated and computer-generated vanishing points of moving stimuli

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When observers localize the vanishing point of a moving target, localizations are reliably displaced beyond the final position, in the direction the stimulus was travelling just prior to its offset. We examined modulations of this phenomenon through eye movements and action control over the vanishing point. In Experiment 1 with pursuit eye movements, localization errors were in movement direction, but less pronounced when the vanishing point was self-determined by a key press of the observer. In contrast, in Experiment 2 with fixation instruction, localization errors were opposite movement direction and independent from action control. This pattern of results points at the role of eye movements, which were gathered in Experiment 3. That experiment showed that the eyes lagged behind the target at the point in time, when it vanished from the screen, but that the eyes continued to drift on the targets' virtual trajectory. It is suggested that the perceived target position resulted from the spatial lag of the eyes and of the persisting retinal image during the drift.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Department of Psychology, Munich, Germany

Publication date: 2004-02-01

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