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Elad Ganmor, Michael S. Landy, Eero P. Simoncelli; Near-optimal integration of orientation information across saccades. Journal of Vision 2015;15(16):8. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/15.16.8.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We perceive a stable environment despite the fact that visual information is essentially acquired in a sequence of snapshots separated by saccadic eye movements. The resolution of these snapshots varies—high in the fovea and lower in the periphery—and thus the formation of a stable percept presumably relies on the fusion of information acquired at different resolutions. To test if, and to what extent, foveal and peripheral information are integrated, we examined human orientation-discrimination performance across saccadic eye movements. We found that humans perform best when an oriented target is visible both before (peripherally) and after a saccade (foveally), suggesting that humans integrate the two views. Integration relied on eye movements, as we found no evidence of integration when the target was artificially moved during stationary viewing. Perturbation analysis revealed that humans combine the two views using a weighted sum, with weights assigned based on the relative precision of foveal and peripheral representations, as predicted by ideal observer models. However, our subjects displayed a systematic overweighting of the fovea, relative to the ideal observer, indicating that human integration across saccades is slightly suboptimal.
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