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Prog Brain Res. 2006;154:177-92.

Microsaccades: A microcosm for research on oculomotor control, attention, and visual perception.

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  • Computational Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, PO Box 601553, 14415 Potsdam, Germany. engbert@rz.uni-pstdam.de


Miniature eye movements occur involuntarily during visual fixation. The most prominent contribution to these fixational eye movements is generated by microsaccades, which are rapid small-amplitude saccades with a rate of about one per second. Recent work demonstrates that microsaccades are optimized to counteract perceptual fading during perception of a stationary scene. Furthermore, microsaccades are modulated by visual attention and turned out to generate rich spatio-temporal dynamics. We conclude that the investigation of microsaccades will evolve into a new research field contributing to many facets of oculomotor control, visual perception, and the allocation of attention.

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