, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 163-168

Saccadic suppression relies on luminance information

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To determine whether saccadic suppression of image displacement uses information from luminance channels, we measured spatial displacement detection thresholds with equiluminant and nonequiluminant targets during saccades. We compared these saccadic thresholds with displacement thresholds measured during fixation by making ratios of saccadic thresholds to fixation thresholds. Ratios were lower in the equiluminant condition than in the nonequiluminant. This surprising result indicates that detection of equiluminant target displacements during saccades was better than detection of nonequiluminant targets, compared with the detection abilities during fixation. Thus, saccadic suppression of image displacement, which should increase displacement thresholds during saccades over fixation thresholds, was more effective with nonequiluminant targets. Because of target flicker, displacement thresholds were anisotropic in the nonequiluminant condition; thresholds were greater when target and eye moved in the same direction than when they moved in opposite directions, consistent with earlier results. These two effects (flicker-induced anisotropy and greater suppression in nonequiluminance) canceled when the eye moved opposite the displacement, yielding equal thresholds, and summed when eye and target moved in the same direction, yielding large threshold differences. We conclude that saccadic suppression of image displacement uses mechanisms sensitive to luminance contrast.