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J Vis. 2008 Nov 24;8(15):16.1-19. doi: 10.1167/8.15.16.

Competition between color and luminance for target selection in smooth pursuit and saccadic eye movements.

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Department of Psychology, Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Germany.


Visual processing of color and luminance for smooth pursuit and saccadic eye movements was investigated using a target selection paradigm. In two experiments, stimuli were varied along the dimensions color and luminance, and selection of the more salient target was compared in pursuit and saccades. Initial pursuit was biased in the direction of the luminance component whereas saccades showed a relative preference for color. An early pursuit response toward luminance was often reversed to color by a later saccade. Observers' perceptual judgments of stimulus salience, obtained in two control experiments, were clearly biased toward luminance. This choice bias in perceptual data implies that the initial short-latency pursuit response agrees with perceptual judgments. In contrast, saccades, which have a longer latency than pursuit, do not seem to follow the perceptual judgment of salience but instead show a stronger relative preference for color. These substantial differences in target selection imply that target selection processes for pursuit and saccadic eye movements use distinctly different weights for color and luminance stimuli.

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