We used passive and active following of a predictable smooth pursuit stimulus in order to establish if predictive eye movement responses are equivalent under both passive and active conditions. The smooth pursuit stimulus was presented in pairs that were either ‘predictable’ in which both presentations were matched in timing and velocity, or ‘randomized’ in which each presentation in the pair was varied in both timing and velocity. A visual cue signaled the type of response required from the subject; a green cue indicated the subject should follow both the target presentations (Go-Go), a pink cue indicated that the subject should passively observe the 1st target and follow the 2nd target (NoGo-Go), and finally a green cue with a black cross revealed a randomized (Rnd) trial in which the subject should follow both presentations. The results revealed better prediction in the Go-Go trials than in the NoGo-Go trials, as indicated by higher anticipatory velocity and earlier eye movement onset (latency). We conclude that velocity and timing information stored from passive observation of a moving target is diminished when compared to active following of the target. This study has significant consequences for understanding how visuomotor memory is generated, stored and subsequently released from short-term memory
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