The eyes are never still during maintained gaze fixation. When microsaccades are not occurring, ocular position exhibits continuous slow changes, often referred to as drifts. Unlike microsaccades, drifts remain to be viewed as largely random eye movements. Here we found that ocular position drifts can, instead, be very systematically stimulus-driven, and with very short latencies. We used highly precise eye tracking in three well trained macaque monkeys and found that even fleeting (~8 ms duration) stimulus presentations can robustly trigger transient and stimulus-specific modulations of ocular position drifts, and with only approximately 60 ms latency. Such drift responses are binocular, and they are most effectively elicited with large stimuli of low spatial frequency. Intriguingly, the drift responses exhibit some image pattern selectivity, and they are not explained by convergence responses, pupil constrictions, head movements, or starting eye positions. Ocular position drifts have very rapid access to exogenous visual information.
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