Microsaccades in applied environments: Real-world applications of fixational eye movement measurements

Keywords: microsaccades, drift, fixational eye movements, usability, real world applications, real world scenarios, occupational health, occupational safety, fatigue


Across a wide variety of research environments, the recording of microsaccades and other fixational eye movements has provided insight and solutions into practical problems. Here we review the literature on fixational eye movements—especially microsaccades—in applied and ecologically-valid scenarios. Recent technical advances allow noninvasive fixational eye movement recordings in real-world contexts, while observers perform a variety of tasks. Thus, fixational eye movement measures have been obtained in a host of real-world scenarios, such as in connection with driver fatigue, vestibular sensory deprivation in astronauts, and elite athletic training, among others. Here we present the state of the art in the practical applications of fixational eye movement research, examine its potential future uses, and discuss the benefits of including microsaccade measures in existing eye movement detection technologies. Current evidence supports the inclusion of fixational eye movement measures in real-world contexts, as part of the development of new or improved oculomotor assessment tools. The real-world applications of fixational eye movement measurements will only grow larger and wider as affordable high-speed and high-spatial resolution eye trackers become increasingly prevalent.

Author Biography

Robert G Alexander, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Robert Alexander is a Research Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
How to Cite
Alexander, R. G., Macknik, S. L., & Martinez-Conde, S. (2020). Microsaccades in applied environments: Real-world applications of fixational eye movement measurements. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.16910/jemr.12.6.15
Special Thematic Issue: „Microsaccades: Empirical Research and Methodological Advances“