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Percept Psychophys. 1995 Aug;57(6):796-801.

Are microsaccades responsible for the gap effect?

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University of Alberta, Department of Psychology, Edmonton, Canada.


Extinguishing a fixation point shortly before, or concurrently with, the onset of a peripheral visual target reduces the latency of saccades to that target. Saslow (1967) hypothesized that this gap effect might occur because fixation point offsets reduce the incidence of corrective microsaccades with an associated saccadic refractory period. In the present study, a robust gap effect was obtained. However, using a Purkinje image eyetracker with 1 arcmin of resolution, we found that fixation point offsets had no effect on the occurrence of microsaccades and that the occurrence of microsaccades had no impact on the magnitude of gap effect. Microsaccades therefore do not appear to play any part in the production of the gap effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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