Electrophysiological and psychophysical studies on microsaccades
Our eyes never stop moving, even during attempted gaze fixation. Fixational eye movements, which include tremor, drift, and microsaccades, are necessary to prevent retinal image adaptation, but may also result in unstable vision. Fortunately, the nervous system can suppress the retinal displacements induced by fixational eye movements and consequently keep our vision stable. The neural correlates of perceptual suppression during fixational eye movements are controversial. Also, the contribution of retinal versus extraretinal inputs to microsaccade-induced neuronal responses in the primary visual cortex (i.e. area V1) remain unclear. Here I show that V1 neuronal responses to microsaccades are different from those to stimulus motions simulating microsaccades. Responses to microsaccades consist of an initial excitatory component followed by an inhibitory component, which may be attributed to retinal and extraretinal signals, respectively. I also discuss the effects of the fixation target's size and luminance on microsaccade properties. Fixation targets are frequently used in psychophysical and electrophysiological research, and may have uncontrolled influences on experimental results. I found that microsaccade rates and magnitudes change linearly with fixation target size, but not with fixation target luminance. Finally, I present ion a novel variation of the Ouchi-Spillmann illusion, in which fixational eye movements may play a role.
- Najafian Jazi, Ali (Author)
- Buneo, Christopher (Thesis advisor)
- Martinez-Conde, Susana (Thesis advisor)
- Macknik, Stephen (Committee member)
- Arizona State University (Publisher)