Eye Movements and Stable Perception
Although we experience a stable visual world, the retina is in almost constant motion as our eyes move around. I will describe three lines of research that shed light on how the process of anticipating sensory consequences of eye movements can contribute to perceived stability. First, I will show that a visual mask placed in the expected retinotopic location of a target just before an eye movement can interfere with target identification. Second, I will describe results from a hemianopic patient whose sensitivity to a dim stimulus shown after an eye movement in his sighted field is enhanced by the presence of a blind-field stimulus shown in the same spatial location before the eye movement. Third, I will demonstrate that the experience of a shift in gaze direction precedes the actual eye movement. Together these findings suggest that we are able to use information about an impending eye movement to shift our attention to the anticipated retinotopic location of relevant information.
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