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Aline Bompas; Eye movements participate to color appearance. Journal of Vision 2008;8(17):27. doi: 10.1167/8.17.27.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The retinal image is far from homogeneous. In particular, the density variation of macular pigment with eccentricity introduces major centre-periphery differences in the spectrum and intensity of light sampled by our photoreceptors. Although this leads to substantial perceptual differences when measured in laboratory conditions, these are not detected in real life. Most interestingly, objects seen in peripheral vision do not suddenly change color when we look straight at them, even if one pays particular attention to possible color changes. I have investigated the hypothesis that saccadic eye movements participate in calibrating color experience across the visual field: each time we make a saccade towards an object in the periphery, the particular change in sensory input that is produced would be learnt and consequently compensated. Such process would participate in perceptual stability across eye movements, ensuring that only relevant color changes are actually perceived. This hypothesis is made plausible by previous findings showing that correlations between eye movements and color changes can be learnt and compensated for by our visual system (Bompas & O'Regan 2006, Perception 35(1), 65–78; Bompas & O'Regan 2006, Journal of Vision 6(2), 145–153).
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