Influence of stimulus velocity profile on unintentional visuomotor entrainment depends on eye movements

Manuel Varlet*, R. C. Schmidt, Michael J. Richardson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Humans spontaneously entrain their movements to visual rhythms in the environment. Previous research has shown that the strength of such unintentional visuomotor entrainment is enhanced when observing rhythms characterized by the nonlinear, Rayleigh kinematics typical of human movements; such movements are characterized by greater slowness towards the trajectory turning points compared to sinusoidal movements. However, the enhanced unintentional entrainment to rhythms exhibiting Rayleigh kinematics has only been shown to occur when participants tracked stimulus movements with their eyes, which might have facilitated access to important information for enhanced entrainment. The current study compared the strength of unintentional visuomotor entrainment with both Rayleigh and sinusoidal kinematics when participants were either tracking (eye following the oscillating stimulus) or non-tracking (eye fixed at the centre of the stimulus trajectory) stimulus movements. The results showed that enhanced unintentional entrainment with Rayleigh stimuli only occurred with eye-tracking, supporting that slowness of rhythmic movements towards turning points facilitate entrainment and that access to this information depends on eye movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3279–3286
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • entrainment
  • unintentional synchronisation
  • movement
  • eye-tracking
  • visual information
  • kinematics


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