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Trends Cogn Sci. 2009 Jun;13(6):239-45. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2009.03.007. Epub 2009 May 8.

(Micro)Saccades, corollary activity and cortical oscillations.

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Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Department of Neurophysiology, Deutschordenstrasse 46, 60528 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


In natural vision, attention and eye movements are linked. Furthermore, eye movements structure the inflow of information into the visual system. Saccades, where little vision occurs, alternate with fixations, when most vision occurs. A mechanism must be in place to maximize information intake during fixations. Oscillatory synchrony has been proposed as a mechanism for rapid and reliable communication of signals, subserving cognitive functions such as attention and object identification. We propose that saccade-related corollary activity has a crucial role in anticipatory preparation of visual centers, which interacts with ongoing oscillation, favoring the processing of postfixational signals. During prolonged fixations, microsaccades could be generated to exploit this mechanism. Studying this interplay between the sensory and the motor system will provide novel insight into the dynamics of natural vision.

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