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Trends Cogn Sci. 2008 Dec;12(12):466-73. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2008.09.003. Epub 2008 Oct 23.

Trans-saccadic perception.

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Center for Mind/Brain Sciences and Department of Cognitive Sciences, University of Trento, Corso Bettini 31, Rovereto 38068, Italy.


A basic question in cognition is how visual information obtained in separate glances can produce a stable, continuous percept. Previous explanations have included theories such as integration in a trans-saccadic buffer or storage in visual memory, or even that perception begins anew with each fixation. Converging evidence from primate neurophysiology, human psychophysics and neuroimaging indicate an additional explanation: the intention to make a saccadic eye movement leads to a fundamental alteration in visual processing itself before and after the saccadic eye movement. We outline five principles of 'trans-saccadic perception' that could help to explain how it is possible - despite discrete sensory input and limited memory - that conscious perception across saccades seems smooth and predictable.

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