Jordan Pola, PhD
Vision Sciences
SUNY College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10036

Research Description

Models of the Mechanism Underlying Perceived Visual Location

When we turn our eyes to look at a stationary target or to follow a moving target, the eye movement causes a shift in the retinal image of objects in the visual environment. An expectation about this shift might be that there should also be a corresponding shift in the perceived visual location of an object. However, under normal visual circumstances this is not the case, i.e., the perceived location of the object remains stable. How, in the face of the retinal image shift, is this possible? A traditional viewpoint is that an extraretinal signal, coming from the oculomotor system, is generated along with the eye movement, and in some manner this signal serves to cancel out what otherwise would be a change in the perceived location. Current research in this laboratory is concerned with the processes underlying perceived location around the time of an eye movement. In particular, the research has concentrated on use of theoretical models to explore the manner in which a retinal signal might interact with the extraretinal signal, and the effects of this interaction on perception. As an example, most investigations in this area are about the perceived location of a flash presented before, during and following the occurrence of a saccadic eye movement. An assumption implicit in such research is that the perceived location of the flash is an accurate reflection of the features of the extraretinal signal. However, what is usually ignored is that a flash gives rise to long duration retinal signal persistence (200 to 300 msec). The models developed in this laboratory suggest that retinal signal persistence interacting with the extraretinal signal result in an apparent extraretinal signal whose onset time and temporal features are different from those of the actual extraretinal signal. Some current research issues under investigation include: a) the onset time of the extraretinal signal relative to saccadic eye movement; b) the perception of two or more successive perisaccadic flashes; c) the perception of a flash in the face of a continuous background stimuli; d) the mechanism underlying perisaccadic compression of visual space; and e) perceived location during smooth pursuit eye movement.  The intent of this work is not only to provide an account of psychophysical data but also to reveal the functional properties of underlying neurophysiology.

Education

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, NIH Postdoctoral Fellow (Neurophysiology), 1974

Columbia University, PhD (Experimental Psychology), 1973

Columbia University, MA (Experimental Psychology), 1968,

Columbia University, BS (Philosophy),  1966

Juilliard School of Music, 1961-1962

Professional Experience

  • Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Vision Sciences, State University of New York College of Optometry, 1997- present.

  • Full Professor, Department of Vision Sciences, State University of New York College of Optometry, 1984-1997.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Optometric Sciences, State University of New York  College of Optometry, 1980-1984.

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Optometric Sciences, State University of New York  College of Optometry, 1974-1980.

  • Research Fellow, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1973-1974.

  • Research Fellow, Columbia University, 1970-1971.

  • Faculty Fellow, Columbia University, 1968-1970.

  • Teaching Assistant, Columbia University, 1966-1968.

Awards and Distinctions

  • SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, 1997.

  • SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1993.

  • SUNY College of Optometry Excellence in Teaching Award, 1978.

  • SUNY College of Optometry Excellence in Teaching Award, 1977.

Publications

Pola J (2011) An explanation of perisaccadic compression of visual space. Vision Research, 51, 424-434.

Pola J (2007) A model of the mechanisms for the perceived location of a single flash and two successive flashes presented around the time of a saccade. Vision Research 47, 2798-2813.

Pola J (2006) Development of eye movements in infants, in R Duckman (Ed.) Visual Development, Diagnosis, and Treatment of the Pediatric Patient. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Pola J (2004) Models of the mechanism underlying perceived location of a perisaccadic flash. Vision Research 44, 2799-2813.

Pola J (2002) Models of the saccadic and smooth pursuit systems, in G K Hung and K J Ciuffreda (Eds.) Models of the Visual System. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (2001) The role of target position during pursuit deceleration and termination. Vision Research, 41, 655-669.

Katz M and Pola J (2000) A size illusion of the letter ‘P’. Vision Research 40, 401-407.

Pola J, and Wyatt H J (1997) Offset of human smooth pursuit eye movements: effects of target presence and subject intention. Vision Research 37, 2579-2595.

Wyatt H J, Pola J, Lustgarten M and Aksionoff E (1995) OKN suppression by fixation of a stabilized target: the effect of OKN: stimulus predictability. Vision Research 35, 2903-2910.

Pola J, Wyatt H J, and Lustgarten M (1995) Visual Fixation of a target and suppression of OKN: effects of varying target feedback. Vision Research 35, 1079-1087.

Pola J, and Wyatt H J (1994) Smooth pursuit eye movement: target velocity starts it; target position stops it. in U Buttner and D Zee (Eds.) Four Decades of Seminal Eye Movement Research; A Tribute to David Adair Robinson. George Thieme Verlag, Stuttgard.

Wyatt H J, Pola, J Fortune B and Posner M (1994) Smooth pursuit eye movements with imaginary targets defined by extrafoveal cues. Vision Research 34, 803-820. 

Pola J, Wyatt H J (1993) Visual stabilization of gaze: the role of attention and cognitive processes, in F Miles and J Wallman (Eds.) Reviews of Oculomotor Research. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Pola J, Wyatt H J and Lustgarten M (1992) Suppression of optokinesis by a stabilized target: effects of instructions and stimulus frequency. Perception & Psychophysics 52, 186-200.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1991) Smooth pursuit: response characteristics, stimuli, and mechanisms, in R H S Carpenter (Ed.) Vision and Visual Dysfunction. The Macmillan Press Ltd.

Kruger P H and Pola J (1989) Accommodation to size and blur changing in counterphase. Optometry and Vision Science 66, 455-458.

Wyatt H J, Pola J and Lustgarten M (1989) The oculomotor "twitch" ö a transient response to target motion. Experimental Brain Research 76, 581-592.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1989) The perception of target motion during smooth pursuit eye movement in the open-loop condition: characteristics of retinal and extraretinal signals. Vision Research 29, 471-483.

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1988) Predictive behavior of optokinetic eye movements. Experimental Brain Research 73, 615-626.

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1988) Passive suppression of optokinesis by stabilized targets. Vision Research 28, 1023-1029.

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1987) Smooth eye movements with step-ramp stimuli: the influence of attention and stimulus extent. Vision Research 27, 1565-1580.

Neary C, Pola J and Wyatt H J (1987) Target position: a stimulus for smooth pursuit eye movement in the monkey, in J.K. O'Regan and A. Levy-Schoen (Eds.) Eye Movements: From Physiology to Cognition. Elsevier/North-Holland, Amsterdam.

Kruger P B and Pola J (l987) Dioptric and non-dioptric stimuli for accommodation: target size alone and with blur and chromatic aberration. Vision Research. 27, 555-567.

Kruger P B and Pola J (1986) Stimuli for accommodation: blur, chromatic aberration and size. Vision Research 26, 957-97l.

Kruger P B and Pola J (1985) Changing target size is a stimulus for accommodation. Journal of the Optical Society of America 2, l832-l835.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1985) Passive and active smooth eye movements: effects of stimulus size and location. Vision Research 25, l063-l076. 

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1984) A mechanism for suppression of optokinesis. Vision Research 24, l93l-l945.

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1983) Smooth pursuit eye movement under open-loop and closed-loop conditions. Vision Research l0, ll2l-ll3l.

Wyatt H J and Pola J (198l) Slow eye movements to eccentric targets. Investigative Opththalmology and Visual Science 23/3, 477-483.

Matin L, Pola J, Matin E and Picoult E (l98l) Vernier discrimination with sequentially-flashed lines: roles of eye movements, retinal offsets and short-term memory. Vision Research, 21, 647-656.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1980) Target position and velocity: the stimuli for smooth pursuit eye movements. Vision Research 20, 523-534.

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1979) The role of perceived motion in smooth pursuit eye movements. Vision Research l9, 6l3-6l8.

Pola J and Robinson D A (1978) Oculomotor signals in the medial longitudinal fasciculus of the monkey. Journal of Neurophysiology, 41, 245-259.

Remmel R S, Pola J and Skinner R D (1978) Pontomedullary reticular projections into the region of the ascending medial longitudinal fasciculus in cat. Experimental Brain Research 32, 3l-37.

Remmel R S, Skinner R D and Pola J (1977) Cat pontomedullary reticular neurons projecting to the regions of the ascending MLF and the vestibular nuclei, in R. Baker and A. Berthoz (Eds.) Control of Gaze by Brain Stem Neurons. Elsevier/North-Holland, Amsterdam.

Pola J and Matin L (1977) Eye movements following autokinesis. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Societry l0, 397-398.

Pola J and Robinson D A (1976) An explanation of eye movements seen in internuclear ophthalmoplegia. Archives of Neurology 33, 447-452.

Pola J (1976) Voluntary saccades, eye position, and perceived visual direction, in R.A. Monty and J.W. Senders (Ed.). Eye Movements and Psychological Processes. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, N.J., .

Matin L, Boff K R and Pola J (1976) Vernier offset produced by rotary target motion. Perception & Psychophysics 20, l38-l42.

Bowen R W, Pola J and Matin L (1974) Visual persistence: effects of flash luminance, duration, and energy. Vision Research l4, 295-303.

Pola J (1973) The relation of the perception of visual direction to eye position and time during and following a voluntary saccade. Ph.D. Thesis, Columbia University, New York.

Matin L, Matin E and Pola J (1970) Visual perception of direction when voluntary saccades occur: II. Relation of visual direction of a fixation target extinguished before a saccade to a subsequent test flash presented before the saccade. Perception & Psychophysics 8, 9-l4.

Presentations and Talks

Pola J. (2012) A model of perisaccadic target flash mislocalization when a background stimulus is continuously present before, during and after a saccade. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J. (2011) A model of the influence of temporal and spatial aspects of background stimuli on perisaccadic target- flash mislocalization. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J (2011) Perisaccadic flash mislocalization depends on whether a background stimulus appears or disappears around the time of the flash.  Vision Sciences Society.

Pola J (2010) An explanation of perisaccadic flash mislocalization when the flash occurs together with background stimuli. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J (2010) A model of perisaccadic flash mislocalization in the presence of a simple background stimulus. Vision Sciences Society

Pola J (2008) An explanation of perisaccadic compression of visual space. Society for Neuroscience.
Pola J (2008) Perisaccadic visual compression shown by target-flash mislocalization may be affected by flash visual persistence interacting with background stimuli. Vision Sciences Society.

Pola J (2007) Compression of visual space as shown by mislocalization of single flashes presented around the time of a saccade may come from a simple monotonic extraretinal signal whose onset time varies across the retina. Vision Sciences Society.

Pola J (2006) The perceived location of one flash or two successive flashes at the time of a saccade involves an extraretinal signal that begins to change at the onset of or following the saccade. Vision Sciences Society.

Pola J (2005) Mislocalization of two successive perisaccadic flashes involves an extraretinal signal that begins to change at the onset of the saccade or shortly thereafter. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J (2005) Models of the perceived location of a flash at the time of a saccade. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J (2003) The extraretinal signal for saccade-contingent perceived location begins before and changes about as fast as the saccade. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J (2003) A model of the perceived locations of two successively flashed targets presented during a saccade. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (2002) Visual perception of direction during a saccade may involve an extravisual signal that changes as rapidly as the saccade. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (2001) The time course of the extraretinal signal for saccade-contingent perceived direction may be as fast as the saccade. Society for Neuroscience.

Katz M and Pola J (1998) A letter-size illusion: perceived size of ‘P’ is influenced by its relative vertical position. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1997) Offset of smooth pursuit: pursuit or fixation. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1997) How target jump affects offset of pursuit: a model simulation. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1996) Offset response of the human pursuit system when a target jumps to the fovea: effects of jump size. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1995) Dynamic response of the human smooth pursuit system to target position as stimulus. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1994) Offset of human smooth pursuit: effects of target velocity, position, and presence. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1994) Offset dynamics of human smooth pursuit eye movements: effects of foveal stimulation and subject intention. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1993) Smooth pursuit eye movement: velocity starts it; position stops it. Symposium in honor of David Robinson, Eibsee, Germany.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1993) Smooth pursuit: started by velocity, ended by position. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1992) Determinism vs. free will in suppression of OKN with a stabilized target. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Wyatt H J, Pola J and Posner M (1991) A motion "space" defined by stimulus attributes employed during initiation of smooth pursuit. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J, Wyatt H J and Fortune B (1990) Chasing illusion: smooth pursuit of imaginary targets defined by extrafoveal cues. Society for Neuroscience.

Fortune B, Pola J and Wyatt H J (1990) Chasing snark and snipe ö smooth pursuit of imaginary targets. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Aksionoff E, Wyatt H J and Pola J (1989) Does suppression of OKN depend on knowing what the stimulus field will do next? Association for Research inVision and Ophthalmology.

Lustgarten M, Pola J and Wyatt H J (1988) Retinal slip serves to "fine tune" suppression of OKN. Society for Neuroscience.

Lustgarten M, Pola J and Wyatt H J (1988) "Retinal slip" ö What is its role in the suppression of optokinesis? Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J, Wyatt H J and Lustgarten M (1987) Suppression of OKN without retinal error signals: effects of attentional mode and stimulus frequency. Society for Neuroscience.

Lustgarten M, Pola J and Wyatt H J (1987) "Hypersuppression" of optokinesis: variation with frequency. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Kruger P B, Matthews S and Pola J (1986) Chromatic cues for accommodation. American Academy of Optometry. 

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1986) The oculomotor "twitch" ö mapping spatial and temporal properties of a transient response to motion. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J, Wyatt H J and Golomb M (1986) The effect of different ways of attending to a target on the suppression of optokinesis. Society for Neuroscience.

Kruger P B and Pola J (1985) What drives accommodation? Changing blur and size in opposition. American Academy of Optometry

Neary C, Pola J and Wyatt H J (1985) Target position: a stimulus for smooth pursuit eye movements in the monkey. From Physiology to Cognition, Symposium, France.

Kruger P B and Pola J (1985) Stimuli for accommodation: size and blur in counterphase. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Neary C, Pola J and Wyatt H J (1985) Target position can be a stimulus for monkey smooth pursuit eye movements. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1985) Active and passive responses to step ramp target motion. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1985) Rashbass revisited: active and passive responses to step ramp target motion. Society for Neuroscience.

Neary C, Pola J and Wyatt H J (1985) Monkey smooth pursuit eye movements to sine wave and square wave target motion under open loop conditions. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1985) Quantitative features of perceived target motion during smooth pursuit eye movements. Society for Neurosciences.

Kruger P B and Pola J (1984) Size is an effective stimulus for accommodation. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1984) Suppression of optokinesis by a stabilized target occurs without "looking at" the target. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1984) Suppression of OKN without retinal error signals. Society for Neuroscience.

Kruger P B and Pola J (1983) Size, blur and chromatic aberration are stimuli for accommodation. American Academy of Optometry.

Kruger P B and Pola J (1983) Stimuli for accommodation: blur, perceived distance and chromatic aberration. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1983) Suppression of OKN during visual fixation and pursuit. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Wyatt H and Pola J (1982) Suppression of OKN by fixation: role of relative target/background motion. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (198l) Smooth pursuit eye movements in open and closed loop: a linear system, roughly speaking. Society for Neuroscience.

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1980) Smooth pursuit eye movements with the saccadic system rendered ineffective. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1980) Pursuit eye movements in response to stimulus velocity may be OKN. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1980) Visual and internal control of pursuit eye movements. Oculomotor Symposium 80.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1979) Smooth pursuit eye movements: stimuli and mechanisms. Fourth Annual Interdisciplinary Conference, Jackson, Wyoming.

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1979) Smooth pursuit eye movement to stationary targets. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. 

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1978) The role of perceived motion in smooth pursuit eye movements. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Wyatt H J and Pola J (1978) Position and velocity: the stimuli for smooth pursuit eye movements. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmolgy. 

Pola J and Wyatt H J (1977) Target position and velocity: the stimuli for smooth pursuit eye movements. Western Section ARVO Symposium: Oculomotor Function and Dysfunction.

Robinson D A and Pola J (1977) The conversion of signals in the vestibulo ocular reflex. Freiburg Symposium, Germany.

Remmel R, Skinner R, Pola J and Yelvington D (l977) Physiological detection of cat pontomedullary reticular neurons which ascend in the MLF or which project toward the vestibular nucleus. International Congress of Physiological Sciences, Paris.

Pola J and Robinson D A (1976) An explanation of horizontal eye movements seen in internuclear ophthalmoplegia. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Pola J (l975) MLF fiber activity during voluntary and vestibular eye movement. Symposium on Eye Movements and Motion Perception, University of Rochester, New York.

Remmel R S and Pola J (1975) Pontine sources of medial longitudinal fasciculus fibers in the cat. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. 

Boff K R, Matin L and Pola J (1975) An illusion of vernier offset produced by rotary target motion. Eastern Psychological Association. 

Pola J (1974) MLF fiber activity in monkey during visually elicited and vestibular eye movements. Society for Neuroscience.

Pola J (1974) The relation of perceived visual direction to eye position in the presence of a voluntary saccade. Symposium on Eye Movements and Psychological Processes, Princeton University, N.J.

Bowen R W, Pola J and Matin L (1972) Visual persistence: effects of flash luminance, duration and energy. American Academy of Optometry.

Matin L, Pola J and Matin E (1972) Changes of visual direction with voluntary saccadic eye movement: influence of visual persistence. American Academy of Optometry.

Pola J (1972) The effects of eye position and time on the visual perception of direction when a voluntary saccade occurs. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Matin L, Matin E, Pola J and Bowen R (197l) Relative vision direction of two flashes presented at different times and intensities during a voluntary saccade retinal constraints on the operation of extraretinal signals. Eastern Psychological Association.

Pola J (197l) Visual direction of a flash presented during or following saccades of variable length to an 80 peripheral target ö the effects of eye position on an extraretinal signal. Eastern Psychological Association.

Matin E, Matin L, Pola J and Kowal K (1969) The intermittent light illusion and constancy of visual direction during voluntary saccades. Psychonomic Society.

Matin L, Matin E and Pola J (1968) Visual perception of direction for stimuli flashed before, during, and after voluntary saccadic eye movement. Psychonomic Society.

Matin L, Matin E and Pola J (1968) Direction of vernier offset, eye movements, and autokinetic movement. Eastern Psychological Association.B

Students

Dissertation Advisor:

Philip Kruger (PhD 1984, SUNY)

Katherine Neary (PhD 1986, SUNY)

Research Advisor: 

Elizabeth Aksionoff (class of 1989, SUNY)

Brad Fortune (class of 1991, SUNY)

Melanie Posner (class of 1992, SUNY)

Member of Thesis Committee:
 

Richard Bowen (PhD 1975, Columbia University)
Kenneth Boff (PhD 1978, Columbia University)
John Mordi (PhD 1991, SUNY)
Karan Aggarwala (MA 1992, SUNY)
Neera Kapoor (MA 1993, SUNY)
Jia-Long Hong (PhD 1994, Rutgers University)
Karl Citek (PhD 1995, SUNY)
Karan Aggarwala (PhD 1995, SUNY)
James Gallagher (PhD unfinished, SUNY)
Balamurali Vasudevan (PhD 2008, SUNY)
Ryan Bulson (M.S. 2008, SUNY College of Optometry)

Yinan Wang (M.S. 2009, SUNY College of Optometry)

Adam Shavits (Ph.D. 2009, Columbia University)

Wesley Green (M.S. 2009, SUNY College of Optometry)

Yixing Xu (Ph.D. 2010, Columbia University)

Dora Szymanowicz (M.S. 2011, SUNY College of Optometry)

R. Benjamin Meade (M.S. 2011, SUNY College of Optometry)

Kelly Chajkas (M.S. 2011, SUNY College of Optometry)

Jennifer Gould (M.S. 2012, SUNY College of Optometry)

Preethi Thiagarajan (Ph.D. 2012 SUNY College of Optometry)