Scott N J Watamaniuk

Fawcett Hall 313E, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, OH 45435-0001

Dr. Watamaniuk is a full professor and the graduate program director in the department of psychology and has been on faculty since 1995. Prior to Wright State, Dr. Watamaniuk was a postdoctoral research fellow and research scientist at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, CA.

Curriculum Vitae

Vitea-2024.pdf 151.12 KB

Education History

Dr. Watamaniuk received a B.Sc. in psychology from the University of Alberta (1985), and an MS (1987) and PhD (1990) in psychology from Northwestern Univeristy.


Current courses include Perception at both the undergraduate (PSY 3710) and graduate level (PSY 7060).

Dr. Watamaniuk has also taught the following undergraduate courses, Perception, Introduction to Psychology, and Research Methods, as well as graduate courses, Perception, Interface Design, Visual Science, Fundamentals of Motion Perception, Cortical Visual Functions and their Application.

Research Statement

In broad terms, I study the capabilities and limitations of the human visual system to process motion information and how that motion information is used to guide eye and hand movements. Experiments measuring the precision with which humans make judgments about visual motion reveal the limitations of motion processing and these data are then used to infer the functional structure of the brain mechanisms involved in the processing of motion information. Applications that utilize dynamic displays must take into account human motion processing capabilities to fully take advantage of the visual system’s strengths and avoid falling prey to its weaknesses. Current research in my lab is focused on how motion is used to segregate the visual environment, the attentional advantages exhibited by avid action video game players, and how moving sounds impact visual motion perception. In addition, other research investigates how human smooth pursuit eye movements respond to complex motion stimuli to shed light on the sensory-motor interface transforming visual motion information into motor commands. Using a high-resolution eye tracker, observers’ eye movements are measured to determine the dynamics of the smooth pursuit eye movement system. These data are then used to determine the underlying computations and processing of the visual motion stimulus that generate the signal to guide human smooth pursuit eye movements. I am also actively studying the attention needed for and the spatial distribution of attention during smooth pursuit eye movements. A new area of research, in collaboration with Dr. Anna Ma-Wyatt at the University of Adelaide in Australia, involves studying reaching/pointing responses to complex visual motion stimuli.

Students Advised

Previous undergraduate honors students

James Van Oss

Emily Blazer

Dorothy Ayres

Rebekah Clark (Neuroscience)


Previous graduate students

R. Eric Stohr - MS

Shannon Posey - MS

Lisa Jacola - MS

Clayton Rothwell - MS

Andrew Fent - MS

Nick Kelling - MS

Candace Eshelman-Haynes - MS, PhD

Stephen Gabbard - PhD

John McIntire - MS, PhD

Marc Winterbottom - PhD

Jimmy Garrett - PhD


Current undergraduate honors students

Tyler Martindale

Kyler Dean (Biology)


Current graduate students

Sasha Willis - MS

Liam Stalker - PhD

Sarah Sinclair-Amend - PhD

Sarah Jessup - PhD

Joey Borders - PhD

Lindsey McIntire - PhD



  1. Watamaniuk, S.N.J., Badler, J.B., & Heinen, S.J. (2023). Peripheral and foveal targets differentially impact retinal-image stability. Scientific Reports, 13:7418. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-34066-2)

  2. Chanda, A., Badler, J.B., Singh, D., Watamaniuk, S.N.J., & Heinen, S.J. (2021). A covered eye fails to follow an object moving in depth. Scientific Reports,11:10983. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-90371-8).

  3. Badler, J.B., Heinen, S.J., & Watamaniuk, S.N.J. (2019). A common mechanism modulates saccade timing during pursuit and fixation. Journal of Neurophysiology, 122, 1981-1988.

  4. Heinen, S.J. & Watamaniuk, S.N.J. (2018). Choosing a foveal goal recruits the saccadic system during smooth pursuit. Journal of Neurophysiology, 120, 489-496. (doi: 10.1152/jn.00418.2017)

  5. Watamaniuk, S.N.J., Bal, J., & Heinen, S.J. (2017). A subconscious interaction between fixation and ocular pursuit. Journal of Neuroscience, 37, 11424-11430. (doi:
  6. Ma, Z., Watamaniuk, S.N.J., Heinen, S.J. (2017). Illusory motion reveals velocity matching, not foveation, drives smooth pursuit of large objects. Journal of Vision, 17(12):20, 1-14. (doi: 10.1167/17.12.20)
  7. Heinen, S.J., Potapchuk, E., & Watamaniuk, S.N.J. (2016). A foveal target increases catch-up saccades frequency during smooth pursuit. Journal of Neurophysiology, 115, 1220-1227 (doi:10.1152/jn.00774.2015).
  8. Watamaniuk, S.N.J. & Heinen, S.J. (2015). Allocation of attention during pursuit of large objects is no different than during fixation. Journal of Vision. 15(9):9. (doi:10.1167/15.9.9)
  9. Maus, G., Potapchuk, E., Watamaniuk, S., & Heinen, S. (2015). Different time scales of motion integration for anticipatory smooth pursuit and perceptual adaptation. Journal of Vision, 15(2):16. (doi:10.1167/15.2.16)
  10. McIntire, J.P., Wright, S.T., Harrington, L.K., Havig, P.R., Watamaniuk, S.N.J., Heft, E.L., & Winterbottom, M. (2015). Binocular fusion ranges and stereoacuity predict positional and rotational spatial task performance on a stereoscopic 3D display. Journal of Display Technology, 99. (doi:10.1109/JDT.2014.2367161)
  11. Jin, Z., Watamaniuk, S.N.J., Khan, A.Z., Potapchuk, E., & Heinen, S.J. (2014). Motion integration for ocular pursuit does not hinder perceptual segregation of moving objects. Journal of  Neuroscience, 34, 5835-5841. (doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4867-13.2014)
  12. McIntire, J., Wright, S., Harrington, L.K., Havig, P., Watamaniuk, S., & Heft, E. (2014). Optometric measurements predict performance but not comfort on a virtual object placement task with a stereoscopic 3D display. Optical Engineering, 53, 061711. (doi:10.1117/1.OE.53.6.061711)
  13. McIntire, J., Havig, P., Harrington, L.K., Wright, S., Watamaniuk, S.N.J., & Heft, E.L. (2014). Clinically normal stereopsis does not ensure a performance benefit from stereoscopic 3D depth cues. 3D Research, 5, 20. (doi: 10.1007/s13319-014-0020-9)
  14. Jin, Z., Reeves, A., Watamaniuk, S.N.J., & Heinen, S.J. (2013). Shared attention for smooth pursuit and saccades. Journal of Vision, 13, 4, 7 (doi:10.1167/13.4.7).
  15. Watamaniuk, S.N.J., Sekuler, R., & McKee, S.P. (2011). Perceived global flow direction reveals local vector weighting by luminance. Vision Research, 51, 1129-1136.
  16. Heinen, S.J., Jin, Z., Reeves, A., & Watamaniuk, S.N.J. (2011). Flexibility of foveal attention during ocular pursuit. Journal of Vision, 11, 2, 9. (doi: 10.1167/11.2.9)
  17. McIntire, J.P., Havig, P.R., Watamaniuk, S.N.J., & Gilkey, R.H. (2010). Visual search performance with 3-d auditory cues: Effects of motion, target location, and practice. Human Factors, 52, 41-53. (doi:10.1177/0018720810368806)
  18. Watamaniuk, S.N.J. & Heinen, S.J. (2007). Storage of an oculomotor motion aftereffect.  Vision Research, 47, 466-473. PMID: 17239421
  19. Watamaniuk, S. N. J.  (2005). The predictive power of trajectory motion. Vision Research, 45, 2993-3003. PMID: 16153677
  20. Watamaniuk, S. N. J., & Heinen, S. J. (2003). Perceptual and oculomotor evidence of limitations on processing accelerating motion. Journal of Vision, 3(11), 698-709., doi:10.1167/3.11.5. PMID: 14765954
  21. Watamaniuk, S.N.J., Flinn, J., & Stohr, R.E. (2003). Segregation from direction differences in dynamic random-dot stimuli.  Vision Research, 43, 171-180. PMID: 12536139
  22. Morgan, M.J., Watamaniuk, S.N.J., & McKee, S.P. (2000). The use of an implicit standard in measuring discrimination thresholds. Vision Research, 40, 2341-2349. PMID: 10927119
  23. Watamaniuk, S.N.J. & Heinen, S.J. (1999).  Human smooth pursuit direction discrimination.  Vision Research, 39, 59-70. PMID: 10211396
  24. Verghese, P., Watamaniuk, S.N.J., McKee, S.P., & Grzywacz, N.M. (1999). Local motion detectors cannot account for the detectability of an extended trajectory in noise.  Vision Research, 39, 19-30. PMID: 10211392
  25. Harris, J.M., McKee, S.P., & Watamaniuk, S.N.J. (1998). Visual search for motion-in-depth: Stereomotion does not ‘pop-out’ from disparity noise.  Nature Neuroscience, 1, 165-168. PMID: 10195134
  26. Heinen, S.J. & Watamaniuk, S.N.J. (1998).  Spatial integration in human smooth pursuit.  Vision Research, 38, 3785-3794. PMID: 9893807
  27. Watamaniuk, S.N.J. & McKee, S.P. (1998). Simultaneous encoding of direction at a local and global scale.  Perception & Psychophysics, 60, 191-200. PMID: 9529903
  28. McKee, S.P., Watamaniuk, S.N.J., Harris, J.M., Smallman, H.S., & Taylor, D.G. (1997). Is stereopsis effective in breaking camouflage for moving targets?  Vision Research, 37, 2047-2055. PMID: 9327053
  29. Harris, J.M. & Watamaniuk, S.N.J. (1996).  Poor speed discrimination suggests that there is no specialized speed mechanism for Cyclopean motion. Vision Research, 36, 2149-2157. PMID: 8776481
  30. Watamaniuk, S.N.J. & McKee, S.P. (1995).  ‘Seeing’ motion behind occluders.  Nature, 377, 729-730. PMID: 7477261
  31. Grzywacz, N.M., Watamaniuk, S. N. J., & McKee, S. P. (1995).  Temporal coherence theory for the detection and measurement of visual motion.   Vision  Research , 35, 3183-3203. PMID: 8533352
  32. Bravo, M.J. & Watamaniuk, S.N.J. (1995).  Evidence for two speed signals: a coarse local signal for segregation and a precise global signal for discrimination.  Vision Research, 35,1691-1697. PMID: 7660577
  33. Harris, J.M. & Watamaniuk, S.N.J. (1995).  Speed discrimination of motion in depth using binocular cues.  Vision Research, 35, 885-896. PMID: 7762146
  34. Watamaniuk, S.N.J., McKee, S.P., & Grzywacz, N.M. (1995).  Detecting a trajectory embedded in random-direction motion noise. Vision Research, 35, 65-77. PMID: 7839611
  35. Watamaniuk, S.N.J. (1993).  An ideal observer for discrimination of the global direction of dynamic random dot stimuli. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 10, 16-28. PMID: 8478742
  36. Watamaniuk, S.N.J., Grzywacz, N.M. & Yuille, A.L. (1993).  Dependence of speed and direction perception on cinematogram dot density. Vision Research, 33, 849-859. PMID: 8351856
  37. Watamaniuk, S.N.J. & Sekuler, R. (1992).  Temporal and spatial integration in dynamic random dot stimuli. Vision Research, 32, 2341-2347. PMID: 1288010
  38. Watamaniuk, S.N.J. & Duchon, A. (1992).  The human visual system averages speed information. Vision Research, 32, 931-941. PMID: 1604862
  39. Watamaniuk, S.N.J. (1992).  Visible persistence is reduced by fixed-trajectory motion but not random motion.  Perception, 21, 791-802. PMID: 1297982
  40. Watamaniuk, S.N.J., Sekuler, R. & Williams, D.W. (1989).  Direction perception in complex dynamic displays: the integration of direction information.  Vision Research, 29, 47-59. PMID: 2773336

Professional Affiliations/Memberships

Society for Neuroscience

Vision Sciences Society


Writing Across the Curriculum Faculty Recognition Award, May 28, 2010

Outstanding Faculty Member 2009, WSU Psi Chi/Psychology Club

Top Reviewer in 2008, Vision Research

Rachel C. Atkinson Postdoctoral Fellowship, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, CA   October 1989 - December 1990.

Fellowship for McDonnell Summer Institute in Cognitive NeuroScience, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH   June, 1989.

Senior Teaching Fellow, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL   1986-1989.

Northwestern University Scholar, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL   1985-1986.

National Science and Engineering Research Counsel Summer Research Grant, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada   May - August 1984.

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