Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 202, Issue 1, pp 155–169 | Cite as

Apparent motion during saccadic suppression periods

  • Robert Scott Allison
  • Jens Schumacher
  • Shabnam Sadr
  • Rainer Herpers
Research Article


Sensitivity to many visual stimuli, and, in particular, image displacement, is reduced during a change in fixation (saccade) compared to when the eye is still. In these experiments, we studied the sensitivity of observers to ecologically relevant image translations of large, complex, real world scenes either during horizontal saccades or during fixation. In the first experiment, we found that such displacements were much less detectable during saccades than during fixation. Qualitatively, even when trans-saccadic scene changes were detectible, they were less salient and appeared slower than equivalent changes in the absence of a saccade. Two further experiments followed up on this observation and estimated the perceived magnitude of trans-saccadic apparent motion using a two-interval forced-choice procedure (Experiment 2) and a magnitude estimation procedure (Experiment 3). Both experiments suggest that trans-saccadic displacements were perceived as smaller than equivalent inter-saccadic displacements. We conclude that during saccades, the magnitude of the apparent motion signal is attenuated as well as its detectability.


Saccadic suppression Displacement Motion Visual perception Saccades 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Scott Allison
    • 1
  • Jens Schumacher
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shabnam Sadr
    • 1
  • Rainer Herpers
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Centre for Vision ResearchYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceBonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied SciencesSankt AugustinGermany

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