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Norick R. Bowers, Alexandra E. Boehm, Austin Roorda; The effects of fixational tremor on the retinal image. Journal of Vision 2019;19(11):8. doi: 10.1167/19.11.8.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The study of fixational eye motion has implications for the neural and computational underpinnings of vision. One component of fixational eye motion is tremor, a high-frequency oscillatory jitter reported to be anywhere from ∼11–60 arcseconds in amplitude. In order to isolate the effects of tremor on the retinal image directly and in the absence of optical blur, high-frequency, high-resolution eye traces were collected in six subjects from videos recorded with an adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope. Videos were acquired while subjects engaged in an active fixation task where they fixated on a tumbling E stimulus and reported changes in its orientation. Spectral analysis was conducted on periods of ocular drift, with all drifts being concatenated together after removal of saccades from the trace. The resultant amplitude spectra showed a slight deviation from the traditional 1/f nature of optical drift in the frequency range of 50–100 Hz, which is indicative of tremor. However, this deviation rarely exceeded 1 arcsecond and the consequent standard deviation of retinal image motion over the tremor band (50–100 Hz) was just over 5 arcseconds. Given such a small amplitude, it is unlikely tremor will contribute in any meaningful way to the visual percept.
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