New paper: Spatiotopic updating facilitates perception immediately after saccades

In this study, we investigated the problem of visual continuity across saccades. When inspecting the world, visual information travels from the retina to the visual cortex in retinotopic coordinates. Yet, the eyes are continuously moving, creating large shifts in retinal images. Although the issue of visual continuity across eye movements has recently gained increasing attention, it is still frequently introduced with introspective statements. It is currently strongly debated what kind of information (if any at all) is accumulated across eye movements, and when this information becomes available after an eye movement. Hence, does the visual system actually combine two retinal images, or are perceptual representations build anew, retinotopically upon each saccade?

Here, we address this question using motion processing, which by definition requires the accumulation of information over time. In our experiments, we take advantage of the rapid temporal effects of the High Phi illusion (Wexler et al., 2013) to show that (A) motion information can be updated spatiotopically and (B) is available immediately after an eye movement. With these experiments we provide direct empirical evidence in favor of rapid spatiotopic interpretations of visual information.

Fabius, J.H., Fracasso, A. & Van der Stigchel, S. (2016). Spatiotopic updating facilitates perception immediately after saccades. Scientific Reports.