Attention and sensory integration in active vision of moving objects

To explore dynamic visual scenes, humans - as all other primates - combine fast gaze shifts (saccades) and smooth continuous tracking (pursuit) of objects in motion. Shifting gaze to a moving object poses challenges to the visual system, as the object continues to move during the saccade. To land the eyes on target, this motion needs to be taken into account during the preparation of the saccade. Moreover, during each saccade, other relevant parts of the scene (that may themselves be moving) radically change their position on the back of the eye. Indeed, many visual brain areas, that are involved in processing these parts of the scene, inherit this retinotopic organization. So how do we keep track of the locations of moving objects and - in the face of eye movements - continuously pay attention to those parts of the scene that are currently relevant for behaviour? In this project, we will investigate how we estimate the motion of the targets of eye movements, to intercept them or keep track of their locations. We will use a combination of gaze tracking, visual psychophysics, and computational modelling to achieve three goals. (1) We will establish the dynamics of the processes that enable the visual system to estimate and incorporate the velocity of moving objects during movement preparation. (2) We will aim at a better understanding of the role of visual attention in this process. (3) We shall uncover if and how predictive processes update visual attention to track behaviourally relevant, moving objects across eye movements.
The ultimate goal is to understand active visual processing at a functional level and to develop a coherent theory of the continuity of perception and action as we move through a dynamic world.

Rolfs, Martin Prof. Dr. (Details) (General Psychology - Active Perception and Cognition)

participating organizational facilities of the HU

Participating external organizations

Duration of Project
Start date: 05/2018
End date: 01/2022

Research Areas
General, Cognitive and Mathematical Psychology

Research Areas
Visuelle Wahrnehmung

Kroell, L. M. & Rolfs, M. (2021). The peripheral sensitivity profile at the saccade target reshapes during saccade preparation, Cortex, 139, 12-26.

Kroell, L. M. & Rolfs, M. (2020). Book review of "van der Stigchel, S. How Attention Works", Perception, 49(7), 796-797.

Kwon, S., Rolfs, M., Mitchel, J. F. (2019). Pre-saccadic motion integration drives a predictive post-saccadic following response. Journal of Vision, 19(11):12, 1-19.

van Heusden, E., Rolfs, M., Cavanagh, P., & Hoogendorn, H. (2018). Motion extrapolation for eye movements predicts perceived motion-induced position shifts. Journal of Neuroscience, 38, 8243-8250.

Last updated on 2021-24-04 at 19:45