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J Vis. 2010 Jul 1;10(8):19. doi: 10.1167/10.8.19.

Perisaccadic mislocalization as optimal percept.

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  • 1Columbia University, Department of Neuroscience, New York, NY, USA.


The spatially uniform mislocalization of stimuli flashed around the onset of fast eye-movements (perisaccadic shift) has previously been explained by an inaccurate internal representation of current eye position. However, this hypothesis does not account for the observation that continuously presented stimuli are correctly localized during saccades. Here we show that the two findings are not mutually exclusive. The novelty of our approach lies in our interpretation of the extraretinal signal which, in contrast to other models, is not considered an (erroneous) estimate of current eye-position. Based on the reafference principle, our model assumes that the extraretinal signal is optimal in that it accurately predicts the neural representation of the retinal position of a continuously present stimulus. Perisaccadic shift arises as a consequence of maintaining stable perisaccadic position estimates for continuously present stimuli under the physiologically plausible assumption of temporal low-pass filtering in the afferent visual pathway. Consequently, our model reconciles the reafference principle with the finding of perisaccadic shift.

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