Impairments of peripheral motion change detection during smooth pursuit eye movements

Vater, C.; Klostermann, A.; Hossner, E.-J. (2016). Impairments of peripheral motion change detection during smooth pursuit eye movements. In: 8. Jahrestagung der sportwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft der Schweiz (SGS) «Sportwissenschaft — im Singular!» (p. 105). Sportwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft der Schweiz

In team sports the ability to use peripheral vision is essential to track a number of players and the
ball. By using eye-tracking devices it was found that players either use fixations and saccades to
process information on the pitch or use smooth pursuit eye movements (SPEM) to keep track of
single objects (Schütz, Braun, & Gegenfurtner, 2011). However, it is assumed that peripheral vision
can be used best when the gaze is stable while it is unknown whether motion changes can be equally
well detected when SPEM are used especially because contrast sensitivity is reduced during SPEM
(Schütz, Delipetkose, Braun, Kerzel, & Gegenfurtner, 2007). Therefore, peripheral motion change
detection will be examined by contrasting a fixation condition with a SPEM condition.
13 participants (7 male, 6 female) were presented with a visual display consisting of 15 white and 1
red square. Participants were instructed to follow the red square with their eyes and press a button
as soon as a white square begins to move. White square movements occurred either when the red
square was still (fixation condition) or moving in a circular manner with 6 °/s (pursuit condition). The
to-be-detected white square movements varied in eccentricity (4 °, 8 °, 16 °) and speed (1 °/s, 2 °/s, 4
°/s) while movement time of white squares was constant at 500 ms. 180 events should be detected in
total. A Vicon-integrated eye-tracking system and a button press (1000 Hz) was used to control for
eye-movements and measure detection rates and response times. Response times (ms) and missed
detections (%) were measured as dependent variables and analysed with a 2 (manipulation) x 3
(eccentricity) x 3 (speed) ANOVA with repeated measures on all factors.
Significant response time effects were found for manipulation, F(1,12) = 224.31, p < .01, ηp2 = .95,
eccentricity, F(2,24) = 56.43; p < .01, ηp2 = .83, and the interaction between the two factors, F(2,24) =
64.43; p < .01, ηp2 = .84. Response times increased as a function of eccentricity for SPEM only and
were overall higher than in the fixation condition. Results further showed missed events effects for
manipulation, F(1,12) = 37.14; p < .01, ηp2 = .76, eccentricity, F(2,24) = 44.90; p < .01, ηp2 = .79, the
interaction between the two factors, F(2,24) = 39.52; p < .01, ηp2 = .77 and the three-way interaction
manipulation x eccentricity x speed, F(2,24) = 3.01; p = .03, ηp2 = .20. While less than 2% of events
were missed on average in the fixation condition as well as at 4° and 8° eccentricity in the SPEM
condition, missed events increased for SPEM at 16 ° eccentricity with significantly more missed
events in the 4 °/s speed condition (1 °/s: M = 34.69, SD = 20.52; 2 °/s: M = 33.34, SD = 19.40; 4 °/s: M
= 39.67, SD = 19.40).
It could be shown that using SPEM impairs the ability to detect peripheral motion changes at the far
periphery and that fixations not only help to detect these motion changes but also to respond faster.
Due to high temporal constraints especially in team sports like soccer or basketball, fast reaction are
necessary for successful anticipation and decision making. Thus, it is advised to anchor gaze at a
specific location if peripheral changes (e.g. movements of other players) that require a motor
response have to be detected. In contrast, SPEM should only be used if a single object, like the ball in
cricket or baseball, is necessary for a successful motor response.
Schütz, A. C., Braun, D. I., & Gegenfurtner, K. R. (2011). Eye movements and perception: A selective
review. Journal of Vision, 11, 1-30.
Schütz, A. C., Delipetkose, E., Braun, D. I., Kerzel, D., & Gegenfurtner, K. R. (2007). Temporal contrast
sensitivity during smooth pursuit eye movements. Journal of Vision, 7, 1-15.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Movement and Exercise Science

UniBE Contributor:

Vater, Christian; Klostermann, André and Hossner, Ernst-Joachim


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment


Sportwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft der Schweiz




Christian Vater

Date Deposited:

03 Mar 2016 14:48

Last Modified:

09 Mar 2016 14:09


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