Open-loop speed discrimination performance of ocular following response and perception

Boström Kim Joris, Warzecha Anne-Kathrin

Research article (journal)


So far, it remains largely unresolved to what extent neuronal noise affects behavioral responses. Here, we investigate, where in the human visual motion pathway noise originates that limits the performance of the entire system. In particular, we ask whether perception and eye movements are limited by a common noise source, or whether processing stages after the separation into different streams limit their performance. We use the ocular following response of human subjects and a simultaneously performed psychophysical paradigm to directly compare perceptual and oculomotor system with respect to their speed discrimination ability. Our results show that on the open-loop condition the perceptual system is superior to the oculomotor system and that the responses of both systems are not correlated. Two alternative conclusions can be drawn from these findings. Either the perceptual and oculomotor pathway are effectively separate, or the amount of post-sensory (motor) noise is not negligible in comparison to the amount of sensory noise. In view of well-established experimental findings and due to plausibility considerations, we favor the latter conclusion.

Details zur Publikation

Release year: 2010
Language in which the publication is writtenEnglish