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Percept Psychophys. 1993 Jun;53(6):633-41.

The spatial signal for saccadic eye movements emphasizes visual boundaries.

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Department of Psychology, University of Durham, U.K.


By investigating the visual processing involved when saccades are made to newly appearing targets, we show that this processing is significantly nonlinear and that texture boundary information predominates. We used the global, or center-of-gravity, effect whereby a saccadic eye movement directed to a target consisting of a pair of elements has an amplitude intermediate between that of saccades directed to the individual elements. We measured the effect using target elements with different visual characteristics, including phase-reversal checkerboard targets that had the same space-average luminance as the background. The contribution to the center-of-gravity calculation was used to measure relative salience. We found that positive and negative contrast elements contribute almost equal weightings. Thus, salience, assessed in this way, is a highly nonlinear function of luminance. The salience of checkerboard targets was found to decrease as check size was decreased and increase as the overall size of the target was increased. Checkerboards with an empty center were as effective as were full checkerboards, showing the importance of boundaries in the salience signal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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