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To develop and evaluate a novel two-dimensional self-gated imaging technique for free-breathing cardiac cine MRI that is free of motion-detection overhead and requires minimal planning for motion tracking.Motion along the readout direction was extracted solely from normal Cartesian imaging readouts near ky = 0. During imaging, the readouts below a certain |ky| threshold were scaled in magnitude and filtered in time to form “pseudo-projections,” enabling projection-based motion tracking along readout without frequently acquiring the central phase encode. A discrete golden step phase encode scheme allowed the |ky| threshold to be freely set after the scan while maintaining uniform motion sampling.The pseudo-projections stream displayed sufficient spatiotemporal resolution for both cardiac and respiratory tracking, allowing retrospective reconstruction of free-breathing non-electrocardiogram (ECG) cines. The technique was tested on healthy subjects, and the resultant image quality, measured by blood-myocardium boundary sharpness, myocardial mass, and single-slice ejection fraction was found to be comparable to standard breath-hold ECG-gated cines.The use of pseudo-projections for motion tracking was found feasible for cardiorespiratory self-gated imaging. Despite some sensitivity to flow and eddy currents, the simplicity of acquisition makes the proposed technique a valuable tool for self-gated cardiac imaging. Magn Reson Med 76:417–429, 2016. © 2015 The Authors. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.