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PLoS One. 2009;4(4):e5163. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005163. Epub 2009 Apr 9.

Microsaccade rate varies with subjective visibility during motion-induced blindness.

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Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Moore Hall, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, United States of America.


Motion-induced blindness (MIB) occurs when a dot embedded in a motion field subjectively vanishes. Here we report the first psychophysical data concerning effects of microsaccade/eyeblink rate upon perceptual switches during MIB. We find that the rate of microsaccades/eyeblink rises before and after perceptual transitions from not seeing to seeing the dot, and decreases before perceptual transitions from seeing it to not seeing it. In addition, event-related fMRI data reveal that, when a dot subjectively reappears during MIB, the blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal increases in V1v and V2v and decreases in contralateral hMT+. These BOLD signal changes observed upon perceptual state changes in MIB could be driven by the change of perceptual states and/or a confounding factor, such as the microsaccade/eyeblink rate.

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