Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Neurosci. 2010 Dec;13(12):1549-53. doi: 10.1038/nn.2663. Epub 2010 Oct 31.

Microsaccades precisely relocate gaze in a high visual acuity task.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

The image on the retina is never stationary. Microscopic relocations of gaze, known as microsaccades, occur even during steady fixation. It has long been thought that microsaccades enable exploration of small regions in the scene in the same way saccades are normally used to scan larger regions. This hypothesis, however, has remained controversial, as it is believed that microsaccades are suppressed during fine spatial judgments. We examined the eye movements of human observers in a high-acuity visuomotor task, the threading of a needle in a computer-simulated virtual environment. Using a method for gaze-contingent display that enables accurate localization of the line of sight, we found that microsaccades precisely move the eye to nearby regions of interest and are dynamically modulated by the ongoing demands of the task. These results indicate that microsaccades are part of the oculomotor strategy by which the visual system acquires fine spatial detail.

Comment in

PMID:
21037583
PMCID:
PMC3058801
DOI:
10.1038/nn.2663
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center