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Sonia Bansal, Wilsaan M. Joiner; Transsaccadic visual perception of foveal compared to peripheral environmental changes. Journal of Vision 2021;21(6):12. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.6.12.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The maintenance of stable visual perception across eye movements is hypothesized to be aided by extraretinal information (e.g., corollary discharge [CD]). Previous studies have focused on the benefits of this information for perception at the fovea. However, there is little information on the extent that CD benefits peripheral visual perception. Here we systematically examined the extent that CD supports the ability to perceive transsaccadic changes at the fovea compared to peripheral changes. Human subjects made saccades to targets positioned at different amplitudes (4° or 8°) and directions (rightward or upward). On each trial there was a reference point located either at (fovea) or 4° away (periphery) from the target. During the saccade the target and reference disappeared and, after a blank period, the reference reappeared at a shifted location. Subjects reported the perceived shift direction, and we determined the perceptual threshold for detection and estimate of the reference location. We also simulated the detection and location if subjects solely relied on the visual error of the shifted reference experienced after the saccade. The comparison of the reference location under these two conditions showed that overall the perceptual estimate was approximately 53% more accurate and 30% less variable than estimates based solely on visual information at the fovea. These values for peripheral shifts were consistently lower than that at the fovea: 34% more accurate and 9% less variable. Overall, the results suggest that CD information does support stable visual perception in the periphery, but is consistently less beneficial compared to the fovea.
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