To keep a stable internal representation of the visual world as our eyes, head, and body move around, humans and monkeys must continuously adjust neural maps of visual space using extraretinal sensory or motor cues. When such movements include translation, the amount of body displacement must be weighted differently in the updating of far versus near targets. Using a memory-saccade task, we have investigated whether nonhuman primates can benefit from this geometry when passively moved sideways. We report that monkeys made appropriate memory saccades, taking into account not only the amplitude and nature (rotation vs. translation) of the movement, but also the distance of the memorized target: i.e., the amplitude of memory saccades was larger for near versus far targets. The scaling by viewing distance, however, was less than geometrically required, such that memory saccades consistently undershot near targets. Such a less-than-ideal scaling of memory saccades is reminiscent of the viewing distance-dependent properties of the vestibuloocular reflex. We propose that a similar viewing distance-dependent vestibular signal is used as an extraretinal compensation for the visuomotor consequences of the geometry of motion parallax by scaling both memory saccades and reflexive eye movements during motion through space.
ASJC Scopus subject areas