Visual stability

David Melcher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Our vision remains stable even though the movements of our eyes, head and bodies create a motion pattern on the retina. One of the most important, yet basic, feats of the visual system is to correctly determine whether this retinal motion is owing to real movement in the world or rather our own selfmovement. This problem has occupied many great thinkers, such as Descartes and Helmholtz, at least since the time of Alhazen. This theme issue brings together leading researchers from animal neurophysiology, clinical neurology, psychophysics and cognitive neuroscience to summarize the state of the art in the study of visual stability. Recently, there has been significant progress in understanding the limits of visual stability in humans and in identifying many of the brain circuits involved in maintaining a stable percept of the world. Clinical studies and new experimental methods, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, now make it possible to test the causal role of different brain regions in creating visual stability and also allow us to measure the consequences when the mechanisms of visual stability break down. This journal is

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-475
Number of pages8
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1564
StatePublished - Feb 27 2011


  • Corollary discharge
  • Remapping
  • Saliency map
  • Spatiotopic
  • Trans-saccadic memory
  • Visual stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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