Effect of stimulus type and motion on smooth pursuit in adults and children

Valldeflors Vinuela-Navarro*, Jonathan T. Erichsen, Cathy Williams, J. Margaret Woodhouse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
252 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose This study presents a two-degree customized animated stimulus developed to evaluate smooth pursuit in children and investigates the effect of its predetermined characteristics (stimulus type and size) in an adult population. Then, the animated stimulus is used to evaluate the impact of different pursuit motion paradigms in children. Methods To study the effect of animating a stimulus, eye movement recordings were obtained from 20 young adults while the customized animated stimulus and a standard dot stimulus were presented moving horizontally at a constant velocity. To study the effect of using a larger stimulus size, eye movement recordings were obtained from 10 young adults while presenting a standard dot stimulus of different size (1° and 2°) moving horizontally at a constant velocity. Finally, eye movement recordings were obtained from 12 children while the 2° customized animated stimulus was presented after three different smooth pursuit motion paradigms. Performance parameters, including gains and number of saccades, were calculated for each stimulus condition. Results The animated stimulus produced in young adults significantly higher velocity gain (mean: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.90-0.96; P =.014), position gain (0.93; 0.85-1; P =.025), proportion of smooth pursuit (0.94; 0.91-0.96, P =.002), and fewer saccades (5.30; 3.64-6.96, P =.008) than a standard dot (velocity gain: 0.87; 0.82-0.92; position gain: 0.82; 0.72-0.92; proportion smooth pursuit: 0.87; 0.83-0.90; number of saccades: 7.75; 5.30-10.46). In contrast, changing the size of a standard dot stimulus from 1° to 2° did not have an effect on smooth pursuit in young adults (P >.05). Finally, smooth pursuit performance did not significantly differ in children for the different motion paradigms when using the animated stimulus (P >.05). Conclusions Attention-grabbing and more dynamic stimuli, such as the developed animated stimulus, might potentially be useful for eye movement research. Finally, with such stimuli, children perform equally well irrespective of the motion paradigm used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-769
Number of pages10
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • animated stimulus
  • child-friendly
  • children
  • pursuit performance
  • smooth pursuit


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of stimulus type and motion on smooth pursuit in adults and children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this