Visual Performance & Oculomotor Mobility Lab

Dr. Miriam Spering

COGS 401 Seminar in Cognitive Systems

2019 term 2, Tuesday & Thursday 11-1 pm, BUCH 301

Course Syllabus

Lecture 1 (Vision; Miriam Spering) - January 8 Lecture slides

Lecture 1 - Part 2 - January 10 Lecture slides

Review paper

Original research paper

Original research paper - Supplementary Material

Lecture 2 (Learning; Anouk de Brouwer) - January 17

Review paper

Original research paper

Lecture 3 (Ethics; Judy Illes) - January 24

Original paper

Original paper

Original paper

Example essays

Example 1

Example 2

Ophthalmology Rotation for 3rd year Medical Undergraduate Students - Eye Movement Session

(2016/17 on Wednesdays, 1-3 pm, Eye Care Centre Board Room)

PDF of lecture slides (version October 2016)

Session handout (version May 2016)

Video clips from Leigh & Zee (2006)

Appendix 1 from Leigh & Zee (2006) on how to perform an exam

Vision and Action Journal Club

(2016/17 on Mondays, 11 am-12 pm, ICICS X718)

This journal club is held jointly with the labs of Nicola Hodges and Alan Kingstone and occurs every second Monday in the ICICS building, X-wing, Room X718 (2366 Main Mall, use entry on Agronomy Rd.) The goal is to read and discuss recently published papers in the areas of perception and action, touching on cognitive aspects such as attention and learning, in a relaxed and informal setting. If you would like to join us please contact us.

Schedule for fall/winter 2016/17

  • October 31, 2016


    Ikegami, T. & Ganesh, G. (2014). Watching novice action degrades expert motor performance: Causation between action production and outcome prediction of observed actions by humans. Sci Rep 4:6889. [pdf]

  • November 14, 2016


    Pesquita, A., Chapman, C.S., & Enns, J.T. (2016). Humans are sensitive to attention control when predicting others' actions. PNAS 113:8669–8674. [pdf]

Eye Movement Reading Group [OLD]

Movements of the eyes provide a valuable source of information for different areas of applied and basic science. They have been recorded and studied in various species from goldfish to humans for more than 100 years. Human eye movements serve as an important diagnostic tool in patients with neurological, psychiatric and ophthalmologic disorders. In visual psychophysics, human and monkey eye movements are used as a behavioral correlate to understand the brain mechanisms underlying visual perception.

In the summers of 2011-2013, the Eye Movement Reading Group explored selected aspects of the smooth pursuit and saccadic eye movement systems. The group was open to everyone affiliated with UBC or VGH, who is interested in learning more about these fascinating and rich visualmotor systems.

The group read some of the classics of the primate eye movement literature. We started each 1-hour session with a brief, 15-minute presentation of one original research paper, followed by discussion. See QALMRI by Stephen M. Kosslyn (Harvard) for an idea how to present experimental papers.

Schedule for June-September 2013

  • June 12, 2013 - Introduction to eye movements and how to measure them in humans (Miriam)

    Key article:

    Gilchrist, I.D., Brown, V., & Findlay, J.M. (1997). Saccades without eye movements. Nature, 390, 130-131. [pdf]

    Background reading:

    Leigh, R.J. & Zee, D.S. (2006). A survey of eye movements: Characteristics and teleology. In R.J. Leigh & D.S. Zee (Eds.), The neurology of eye movements, Ch. 3 (pp. 1-19). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. [pdf]

    June 19, 2013 - Smooth pursuit eye movements (Armaan)

    Key article:

    Steinbach, M.J. (1976). Pursuing the perceptual rather than the retinal stimulus. Vision Research, 16, 1371-1376. [pdf]

    Background reading:

    Spering, M. & Montagnini, A. (2011). Do we track what we see? Evidence for common and independent processing of motion information for perception and smooth pursuit eye movements. Vision Research, 51, 836-852. [pdf]

    Ilg, U.J. (1997). Slow eye movements. Progress in Neurobiology, 53, 293-329. [pdf]

    June 26, 2013 - Characteristics of saccades (Jeff)

    Key article:

    Bahill, A.T., Adler, D., & Stark, L. (1975). Most naturally occurring human saccades have magnitudes of 15 degrees of less. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, 14, 468-469. [pdf]

    Background reading:

    Bahill, A.T., Clark, M.R., & Stark, L. (1975). The main sequence, a tool for studying human eye movements. Mathematical Biosciences, 24, 191-204. [pdf]

    Leigh, R.J. & Zee, D.S. (2006). The saccadic system. In R.J. Leigh & D.S. Zee (Eds.), The neurology of eye movements, Ch. 3 (pp. 108-187). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. [pdf]

    July 3, 2013 - No meeting

    July 10, 2013 - No meeting - Gordon Research Conference on Eye Movements in Stonehill, MA

    July 17, 2013 - What are microsaccades? (Alex)

    Key article:

    Martinez-Conde, S., Macknick, S.L., Troncoso, X.G., & Dyar, T.A. (2006). Microsaccades counteract visual fading during fixation. Neuron, 49, 297-305. [pdf]

    Background reading:

    Rolfs, M. (2009). Microsaccades: Small steps on a long way. Vision Research, 49, 2415-2441. [pdf]

    July 24, 2013 - Special meeting with guest Warren Ward from Fourward Technologies - the maker of the Dual-Purkinje image eye tracker, with hands-on eye-tracking exercises in the lab (Blusson Rm. 4355)

    July 31, 2013 - Neural control of pursuit and saccades (Kaity & Melissa)

    Key articles:

    Dürsteler, M.R. & Wurtz, R.H. (1988). Pursuit and optokinetic deficits following chemical lesions of cortical areas MT and MST. Journal of Neurophysiology, 60, 940–965. [pdf]

    Munoz, D.P. & Wurtz, R.H. (1995). Saccade-related activity in the monkey superior colliculus. I. Characteristics of burst and buildup cells. Journal of Neurophysiology, 73, 2313-2333. [pdf]

    Background reading:

    Krauzlis, R.J. (2004). Recasting the smooth pursuit eye movement system. Journal of Neurophysiology, 91, 591-603. [pdf]

    August 7, 2013 - Eye movements and visual attention are closely linked

    Deubel, H. & Schneider, W.X. (1996). Saccade target selection and object recognition: evidence for a common attentional mechanism. Vision Research, 36, 1827-1837. [pdf]

    Khurana, B. & Kowler, E. (1987). Shared attentional control of smooth eye movement and perception. Vision Research, 27, 1603-1618. [pdf]

    Lovejoy, L.P., Fowler, G.A. & Krauzlis, R.J. (2009). Spatial allocation of attention during smooth pursuit eye movements. Vision Research, 49, 1275-1285. [pdf]

    August 14 & 21, 2013 - Summer break

Check back in August for the September-October schedule!