Microsaccades are small eye movements produced during attempted fixation. During locomotion, the eyes scan the environment; the gaze is not always directed to the focus of expansion of the optic flow field. We sought to investigate whether the microsaccadic activity was modulated by eye position during the view of radial optic flow stimuli, and if the presence or lack of a proprioceptive input signal may influence the microsaccade characteristics during self-motion perception. We recorded the oculomotor activity when subjects were either standing or sitting in front of a screen during the view of optic flow stimuli that simulated specific heading directions with different gaze positions. We recorded five trials of each stimulus. Results showed that microsaccade duration, peak velocity, and rate were significantly modulated by optic flow stimuli and trial sequence. We found that the microsaccade rate increased in each condition from trial 1 to trial 5. Microsaccade peak velocity and duration were significantly different across trials. The analysis of the microsaccade directions showed that the different combinations of optic flow and eye position evoked non-uniform directions of microsaccades in standing condition with mean vectors in the upper-left quadrant of the visual field, uncorrelated with optic flow directions and eye positions. In sitting conditions, all stimuli evoked uniform directions of microsaccades. Present results indicate that the proprioceptive signals when the subjects stand up creates a different input that could alter the eye-movement characteristics during heading perceptions.

Sensory Input Modulates Microsaccades during Heading Perception

Raffi M.
;
Trofè A.;Perazzolo M.;Meoni A.;Piras A.
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Microsaccades are small eye movements produced during attempted fixation. During locomotion, the eyes scan the environment; the gaze is not always directed to the focus of expansion of the optic flow field. We sought to investigate whether the microsaccadic activity was modulated by eye position during the view of radial optic flow stimuli, and if the presence or lack of a proprioceptive input signal may influence the microsaccade characteristics during self-motion perception. We recorded the oculomotor activity when subjects were either standing or sitting in front of a screen during the view of optic flow stimuli that simulated specific heading directions with different gaze positions. We recorded five trials of each stimulus. Results showed that microsaccade duration, peak velocity, and rate were significantly modulated by optic flow stimuli and trial sequence. We found that the microsaccade rate increased in each condition from trial 1 to trial 5. Microsaccade peak velocity and duration were significantly different across trials. The analysis of the microsaccade directions showed that the different combinations of optic flow and eye position evoked non-uniform directions of microsaccades in standing condition with mean vectors in the upper-left quadrant of the visual field, uncorrelated with optic flow directions and eye positions. In sitting conditions, all stimuli evoked uniform directions of microsaccades. Present results indicate that the proprioceptive signals when the subjects stand up creates a different input that could alter the eye-movement characteristics during heading perceptions.
Raffi M.; Trofè A.; Perazzolo M.; Meoni A.; Piras A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/817506
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