Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 2001 Nov 15;414(6861):302-5.

Illusory perceptions of space and time preserve cross-saccadic perceptual continuity.

Author information

  • 1Sobell Department of Neurophysiology, Institute of Neurology, 8-11 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK. k.yarrow@ion.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

When voluntary saccadic eye movements are made to a silently ticking clock, observers sometimes think that the second hand takes longer than normal to move to its next position. For a short period, the clock appears to have stopped (chronostasis). Here we show that the illusion occurs because the brain extends the percept of the saccadic target backwards in time to just before the onset of the saccade. This occurs every time we move the eyes but it is only perceived when an external time reference alerts us to the phenomenon. The illusion does not seem to depend on the shift of spatial attention that accompanies the saccade. However, if the target is moved unpredictably during the saccade, breaking perception of the target's spatial continuity, then the illusion disappears. We suggest that temporal extension of the target's percept is one of the mechanisms that 'fill in' the perceptual 'gap' during saccadic suppression. The effect is critically linked to perceptual mechanisms that identify a target's spatial stability.

PMID:
11713528
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk