Smooth pursuit eye movements to a sinusoidally moving target were recorded using the electro-oculogram in 49 subjects with bipolar disorder, 19 with major depressive disorder and 61 with definite schizophrenia, and compared with 145 normal controls. The signals were analysed in the frequency domain to yield a signal to noise ratio that is known to relate to accuracy of smooth pursuit. Smooth pursuit was found to be significantly poorer in schizophrenics than in bipolars, major depressed or controls. Eye-tracking performance was independent of the effects of neuroleptics, tricyclic antidepressants or lithium, and was not altered by the severity of depression in the affective psychoses. There was a small, but significant worsening of smooth pursuit with age in controls and schizophrenics, but this did not account for the group differences. The results support the view that among the major psychoses eye-tracking dysfunction is specific to schizophrenia.