Effects of visual blur on microsaccades during visual exploration

  • Sherry Tang Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Peggy Skelly Daroff-Dell’Osso Ocular Motility Laboratory, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, USA
  • Jorge Otero-Millan Vestibular and Ocular Motor Research Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University
  • Jonathan Jacobs Daroff-Dell’Osso Ocular Motility Laboratory, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, USA
  • Jordan Murray Vision Neurosciences and Ocular Motility Lab, Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic, USA
  • Aasef G. Shaikh Daroff-Dell’Osso Ocular Motility Laboratory, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center; Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Fatema F. Ghasia Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic
Keywords: visual acuity, eye movement, saccades, gaze, microsaccades, blur, region of interest, visual fading

Abstract

Microsaccades shift the image on the fovea and counteract visual fading. They also serve as an optimal sampling strategy while viewing complex visual scenes. Microsaccade production relies on the amount of retinal error or acuity demand of a visual task. The goal of this study was to assess the effects of blur induced by uncorrected refractive error on visual search. Eye movements were recorded in fourteen healthy subjects with uncorrected and corrected refractive error while they performed a) visual fixation b) blank-scene viewing c) visual search (spot the difference) tasks. Microsaccades, saccades, correctly identified differences and reaction times were analyzed. The frequency of microsaccades and correctly identified differences were lower in the uncorrected refractive error during visual search. No similar change in microsaccades was seen during blank-scene viewing and gaze holding tasks. These findings suggest that visual blur, hence the precision of an image on the fovea, has an important role in calibrating the amplitude of microsaccades during visual scanning.

Published
29-06-2020
How to Cite
Tang, S., Skelly, P., Otero-Millan, J., Jacobs, J., Murray, J., Shaikh, A. G., & Ghasia, F. F. (2019). Effects of visual blur on microsaccades during visual exploration. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.16910/jemr.12.6.10
Section
Special Thematic Issue: „Microsaccades: Empirical Research and Methodological Advances“