Apr 28, 2020

Microsaccades during high speed continuous visual search

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jacob G. MartinS. J. Thorpe


Here, we provide an analysis of the microsaccades that occurred during continuous visual search and targeting of small faces that we pasted either into cluttered background photos or into a simple gray background. Subjects continuously used their eyes to target singular 3-degree upright or inverted faces in changing scenes. As soon as the participant's gaze reached the target face, a new face was displayed in a different and random location. Regardless of the experimental context (e.g. background scene, no background scene), or target eccentricity (from 4 to 20 degrees of visual angle), we found that the microsaccade rate dropped to near zero levels within only 12 milliseconds after trial onset. There were almost never any microsaccades before the saccade to the face. One subject completed 118 consecutive trials without a single microsaccade. However, in about 20% of the trials, there was a single corrective microsaccade that occurred almost immediately after the preceding saccade's offset. These corrective microsaccades were task oriented because their facial landmark targeting distributions matched those of saccades within both the upright and inverted face conditions. Our findings show that a single feedforward pass through ...Continue Reading

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