Trans-saccadic perception

David Melcher, Carol L. Colby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A basic question in cognition is how visual information obtained in separate glances can produce a stable, continuous percept. Previous explanations have included theories such as integration in a trans-saccadic buffer or storage in visual memory, or even that perception begins anew with each fixation. Converging evidence from primate neurophysiology, human psychophysics and neuroimaging indicate an additional explanation: the intention to make a saccadic eye movement leads to a fundamental alteration in visual processing itself before and after the saccadic eye movement. We outline five principles of 'trans-saccadic perception' that could help to explain how it is possible - despite discrete sensory input and limited memory - that conscious perception across saccades seems smooth and predictable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-473
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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