July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Space-time characteristics of visual input modulations resulting from saccades
Author Affiliations
  • Naghmeh Mostofi
    Department of Psychology, Boston University
  • Marco Boi
    Department of Psychology, Boston University
  • Martina Poletti
    Department of Psychology, Boston University
  • Jonathan D. Victor
    Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Michele Rucci
    Department of Psychology, Boston University\nGraduate Program in Neuroscience, Boston University
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 1049. doi:10.1167/13.9.1049
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      Naghmeh Mostofi, Marco Boi, Martina Poletti, Jonathan D. Victor, Michele Rucci; Space-time characteristics of visual input modulations resulting from saccades. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):1049. doi: 10.1167/13.9.1049.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Under natural viewing conditions, eye movements continually modulate the input signals to the retina. Saccades occur 2-3 times per second, and microscopic eye movements are present during the intersaccadic periods of visual fixation. It is critical to characterize the spatiotemporal input resulting from this incessant alternation between large and small eye movements, as this is the input signal to the visual system. In a previous study, we have focused on fixational eye movements (Kuang et al., 2012) and shown that, during viewing of natural scenes, microscopic eye movements carry out a crucial information-processing step: they remove predictable correlations in natural scenes by equalizing the spatial power of the retinal image within the frequency range of ganglion cells’ peak sensitivity, a transformation, previously attributed to center-surround receptive field organization. Here, we focus on the temporal modulations resulting from saccades, which strongly affect neural responses at fixation onset. We show that the space-time transformation due to saccades consists of two distinct regimes. Below a critical low spatial frequency, K, saccades amplify spatial frequency; that is, like ocular drift, the amount of temporal power they yield increases with the spatial frequency of the stimulus. Above K, instead, saccadic temporal modulations equally transform all spatial frequencies. The cut-off frequency K depends on the amplitude of saccades, it is smaller with larger saccades. Furthermore, for any saccade there is a critical high spatial frequency (related to its amplitude) above which the temporal modulations resulting from ocular drift contain more power than those given by saccades. These results suggest that saccades and ocular drift contribute to encoding different frequency ranges, with saccades enhancing low spatial frequencies and drift filling in high spatial frequencies. We present the results of psychophysical experiments which support this hypothesis.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013

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