Research in Dr. Spering's lab focuses on how the brain uses visual information to control eye movements and how movements, in turn, affect the way we see. Her group uses experimental tools from classical visual psychophysics to state-of-the-art eye tracking in healthy adults and patients with deficits in visuo-motor function. Her basic research has many clinical applications. For instance, a type of eye movement known as smooth pursuit is used to stabilize gaze on a moving object of interest and critically assists vision. Deficits in the perception of visual motion and the tracking of moving objects with smooth pursuit eye movements have been described in many neurological, psychiatric and developmental conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and strabismic amblyopia. One of the goals of the lab's research is to assess whether training can compensate abnormalities in vision and eye movements in these patients with the ultimate goal of developing eye movement-based rehabilitation tools.
For more information involving these research interests, please visit the lab's webpage here.
Spering, M., Dias, E.C., Sanchez, J.L., Schütz, A.C., & Javitt, D.C. (2013). Efference-copy failure during smooth pursuit eye movements in schizophrenia. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 11779-11787.
Ke, S., Lam, J., Pai, D.K. & Spering, M. (2013). Directional asymmetries in human smooth pursuit eye movements. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, 54, 4409-4421.
Spering, M. & Carrasco, M. (2012). Similar effects of feature-based attention on motion perception and pursuit eye movements at different levels of awareness. Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 7594-7601.
Spering, M., Schütz, A.C., Braun, D.I., & Gegenfurtner, K.R. (2011). Keep your eyes on the ball: Smooth pursuit eye movements enhance the prediction of visual motion. Journal of Neurophysiology, 105, 1756-1767.
Spering, M., Pomplun, M., & Carrasco, M. (2011). Tracking without perceiving: A dissociation between motion p erception and eye movements. Psychological Science, 22, 216-225.
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.