August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
Robust and saccade-specific feature blanking effect for a wide range of spatial frequencies, sizes and eccentricities
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lukasz Grzeczkowski
    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
  • Arne Stein
    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
  • Martin Rolfs
    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 865715) and the Heisenberg Programme of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grants RO 3579/8-1 and RO 3579/12-1) granted to MR.
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 4800. doi:
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      Lukasz Grzeczkowski, Arne Stein, Martin Rolfs; Robust and saccade-specific feature blanking effect for a wide range of spatial frequencies, sizes and eccentricities. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):4800.

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

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A saccadic eye movement successively projects the saccade target on two retinal locations: a peripheral one before the saccade, and the fovea after the saccade. Typically, performance in detecting or discriminating stimulus features changes between these two projections is very poor. However, a short (some 200 ms) blanking of the stimulus presentation introduced at the saccade onset drastically improves that performance, suggesting that, in the absence of blanking, available information is discarded in favor of visual continuity. Understanding the consistency of this blanking effect across target stimulus features elucidates what information contributes to trans-saccadic processes. Across two experiments, we investigated the feature blanking effect for a wide range of spatial frequencies, stimulus sizes and eccentricities. Moreover, we compared the results to a fixation condition mimicking the peripheral-then-foveal sequence of projections of the target stimulus occurring across a saccade. In each trial, participants executed a saccade to a high-contrast grating presented either to the left or right side of fixation at either six, eight or ten degrees of eccentricity and a size of 1, 2 or 4 degrees in diameter. The grating’s spatial frequency varied randomly between 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 8 cycles per degree of visual angle. During the saccade, the grating changed orientation either in the clockwise or counter-clockwise direction and either instantaneously or after a 200 ms blanking period. Participants reported the direction of the orientation change. Remarkably, blanking improved performance reliably for each spatial frequency and stimulus size at each eccentricity, but only in the saccade condition. The performance with blanking in the saccade condition systematically exceeded the performance in the fixation condition. Our results demonstrate an impressive robustness of the feature blanking effect specifically across saccades and suggest that trans-saccadic processes involve low-level visual features beyond those processed in the magnocellular system.


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