Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 80, Issue 3, pp 723–737 | Cite as

Calibration of peripheral perception of shape with and without saccadic eye movements

  • Céline Paeye
  • Thérèse Collins
  • Patrick Cavanagh
  • Arvid Herwig


The cortical representations of a visual object differ radically across saccades. Several studies claim that the visual system adapts the peripheral percept to better match the subsequent foveal view. Recently, Herwig, Weiß, and Schneider (2015, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1339(1), 97–105) found that the perception of shape demonstrates a saccade-dependent learning effect. Here, we ask whether this learning actually requires saccades. We replicated Herwig et al.’s (2015) study and introduced a fixation condition. In a learning phase, participants were exposed to objects whose shape systematically changed during a saccade, or during a displacement from peripheral to foveal vision (without a saccade). In a subsequent test, objects were perceived as less (more) curved if they previously changed from more circular (triangular) in the periphery to more triangular (circular) in the fovea. Importantly, this pattern was seen both with and without saccades. We then tested whether a variable delay between the presentations of the peripheral and foveal objects would affect their association—hypothetically weakening it at longer delays. Again, we found that shape judgments depended on the changes experienced during the learning phase and that they were similar in both the saccade and fixation conditions. Surprisingly, they were not affected by the delay between the peripheral and foveal presentations over the range we tested. These results suggest that a general associative process, independent of saccade execution, contributes to the perception of shape across viewpoints.


Visual perception Perception and Action Eye Movements 



The research leading to these results received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC Grant Agreement No. AG324070 to PC and by a grant of the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; DFG) Grant He6388/1-2 to A.H. The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Céline Paeye
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thérèse Collins
    • 1
  • Patrick Cavanagh
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Arvid Herwig
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, UMR 8242Paris Descartes UniversityParisFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Vision Action Cognition, EA 7326, Institut de PsychologieParis Descartes UniversityBoulogne-Billancourt CedexFrance
  3. 3.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany
  5. 5.Cognitive Interaction Technology–Excellence ClusterBielefeldUniversityBielefeldGermany

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