, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 305-314

Postsaccadic processing of the retinal image during picture scanning


Eye movements were monitored while observers inspected photographs of natural scenes. At the end of each saccade (i.e., at the beginning of each period of steady fixation), the stimulus was replaced for a certain period of time by a uniform field (Experiment 1) or a blurred version of the stimulus scene (Experiment 2). Total fixation duration was measured as a function of the duration of the initial uniform field or the blurred image that followed the saccade. It was found that fixation duration increased proportionally with the duration of the initial replacement field, even for durations as short as 25 msec. These results suggest that the visual system uses information on the retina right after each saccade is completed and that the blurred, low-resolution information used in Experiment 2 (cutoff frequency of 0.8 cpd) is not sufficient for the requirements of picture processing in this task.

This research was supported in part by grants from NIH (EY09258), Canadian Aviation Electronics, NSERC(A8606), and the Ministère de l’Education du Québec to Patrick Cavanagh.