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Shortening and prolongation of saccade latencies following microsaccades

  • When the eyes fixate at a point in a visual scene, small saccades rapidly shift the image on the retina. The effect of these microsaccades on the latency of subsequent large-scale saccades may be twofold. First, microsaccades are associated with an enhancement of visual perception. Their occurrence during saccade target perception could, thus, decrease saccade latencies. Second, microsaccades are likely to indicate activity in fixation-related oculomotor neurons. These represent competitors to saccade-related cells in the interplay of gaze holding and shifting. Consequently, an increase in saccade latencies would be expected after microsaccades. Here, we present evidence for both aspects of microsaccadic impact on saccade latency. In a delayed response task, participants made saccades to visible or memorized targets. First, microsaccade occurrence up to 50 ms before target disappearance correlated with 18 ms (or 8%) faster saccades to memorized targets. Second, if microsaccades occurred shortly (i.e., < 150 ms) before a saccade wasWhen the eyes fixate at a point in a visual scene, small saccades rapidly shift the image on the retina. The effect of these microsaccades on the latency of subsequent large-scale saccades may be twofold. First, microsaccades are associated with an enhancement of visual perception. Their occurrence during saccade target perception could, thus, decrease saccade latencies. Second, microsaccades are likely to indicate activity in fixation-related oculomotor neurons. These represent competitors to saccade-related cells in the interplay of gaze holding and shifting. Consequently, an increase in saccade latencies would be expected after microsaccades. Here, we present evidence for both aspects of microsaccadic impact on saccade latency. In a delayed response task, participants made saccades to visible or memorized targets. First, microsaccade occurrence up to 50 ms before target disappearance correlated with 18 ms (or 8%) faster saccades to memorized targets. Second, if microsaccades occurred shortly (i.e., < 150 ms) before a saccade was required, mean saccadic reaction time in visual and memory trials was increased by about 40 ms (or 16%). Hence, microsaccades can have opposite consequences for saccade latencies, pointing at a differential role of these fixational eye movements in the preparation of saccade motor programsshow moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Martin Rolfs, Jochen LaubrockORCiDGND, Reinhold KlieglORCiDGND
URL:http://www.springerlink.com/content/y67j226367352u28/fulltext.html
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-005-0148-1
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2006
Year of Completion:2006
Release Date:2017/03/25
Source:Experimental brain research. - 169 (2006), 3, S. 369 - 376
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Psychologie
Peer Review:Referiert