Stimulus blanking reveals contrast-dependent transsaccadic feature transfer

Lukasz Grzeczkowski, Heiner Deubel, Martin Szinte

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Across saccadic eye movements, the visual system receives two successive static images corresponding to the pre- and the postsaccadic projections of the visual field on the retina. The existence of a mechanism integrating the content of these images is today still a matter of debate. Here, we studied the transfer of a visual feature across saccades using a blanking paradigm. Participants moved their eyes to a peripheral grating and discriminated a change in its orientation occurring during the eye movement. The grating was either constantly on the screen or briefly blanked during and after the saccade. Moreover, it either was of the same luminance as the background (i.e., isoluminant) or anisoluminant with respect to it. We found that for anisoluminant gratings, the orientation discrimination across saccades was improved when a blank followed the onset of the eye movement. Such effect was however abolished with isoluminant gratings. Additionally, performance was also improved when an anisoluminant grating presented before the saccade was followed by an isoluminant one. These results demonstrate that a detailed representation of the presaccadic image was transferred across saccades allowing participants to perform better on the transsaccadic orientation task. While such a transfer of visual orientation across saccade is masked in real-life anisoluminant conditions, the use of a blank and of an isoluminant postsaccadic grating allowed to reveal its existence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18656
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2020


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