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Junji Watanabe, Taro Maeda, Susumu Tachi; The time course of localization errors for repeatedly flashing stimuli through a saccade. Journal of Vision 2003;3(9):695. doi: 10.1167/3.9.695.
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When a repeatedly flashing stimulus is presented during a saccade, we perceive a dotted line called “Phantom Array” (P.A.). Thanks to this phenomenon, by arranging LEDs (light emitting diodes) in a vertical line and flashing them repeatedly, we can see a 2D image when we make a saccade across the LEDs. Though the relationship between eye movements and perception of P.A. must be investigated in order to know how we perceive a 2D image during a saccade, there are few researches on the time course of the P.A. So we investigated the time course of the perceivable P.A. before, during, and after a saccade. We found that the P.A. starts to move as our eyes begin to move and stops as begin to stop. So, the time when we can perceive the P.A. is same as duration of a saccade. This result differs from the expected time course of localization errors for briefly flashing stimuli. The localization errors for briefly flashing stimuli begin approximately 100ms before the saccade onset, then end approximately 100ms after the saccade offset. From our research, it is assumed that before and after a saccade we localize stimuli using relative position information on the retina, and during a saccade, as the retinal image is displaced rapidly, we localize stimuli by comparing the retinal images with eye position information. The perceptional difference between a repeatedly flashing and briefly flashing stimulus comes from whether we can use relative position information on the retina before and after saccades.
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