Low-level visual information is maintained across saccades, allowing for a postsaccadic handoff between visual areas

Jasper H. Fabius, Alessio Fracasso, David J. Acunzo, Stefan van der Stigchel, David Melcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Experience seems continuous and detailed despite saccadic eye movements changing retinal input several times per second. There is debate whether neural signals related to updating across saccades contain information about stimulus features, or only location pointers without visual details. We investigated the time course of low-level visual information processing across saccades by decoding the spatial frequency of a stationary stimulus that changed from one visual hemifield to the other because of a horizontal saccadic eye movement. We recorded magnetoencephalography while human subjects (both sexes) monitored the orientation of a grating stimulus, making spatial frequency task irrelevant. Separate trials, in which subjects maintained fixation, were used to train a classifier, whose performance was then tested on saccade trials. Decoding performance showed that spatial frequency information of the presaccadic stimulus remained present for;200 ms after the saccade, transcending retinotopic specificity. Postsaccadic information ramped up rapidly after saccade offset. There was an overlap of over 100 ms during which decoding was significant from both presaccadic and postsaccadic processing areas. This suggests that the apparent richness of perception across saccades may be supported by the continuous availability of low-level information with a “soft handoff” of information during the initial processing sweep of the new fixation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9476-9486
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume40
Issue number49
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2 2020

Keywords

  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Multivariate pattern analysis
  • Saccades
  • Vision
  • Visual stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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