Selective suppression of the magnocellular visual pathway during saccadic eye movements

David C. Burr, M. Concetta Morrone, John Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Visual scientists have long sought to explain why the world remains stable during saccades, the ballistic eye-movements that continually displace the retinal image at fast but resolvable velocities. An early suggestion was that vision may be actively suppressed during saccades, but experimental support has been variable. Here we present evidence that saccadic suppression does occur, but that it is selective for patterns modulated in luminance at low spatial frequencies. Patterns of higher spatial frequency, and equiluminant patterns (modulated only in colour) at all spatial frequencies were not suppressed during saccades, but actually enhanced. The selectivity of the suppression suggests that it is confined to the colour-blind magnocellular stream (which provides the dominant input to motion centres and areas involved with attention), where it could dull the otherwise disturbing sense of fast low-spatial-frequency image motion. Masking studies suggest that the suppression precedes the site of contrast masking and may therefore occur early in visual processing, possibly as early as the lateral geniculate nucleus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-513
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume371
Issue number6497
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 6 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Selective suppression of the magnocellular visual pathway during saccadic eye movements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this