Microsaccadic rate signatures correlate under monocular and binocular stimulation conditions

  • Peter Essig Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen
  • Alexander Leube
  • Katharina Rifai
  • Siegfried Wahl
Keywords: Eye movements, Microsaccades, Fixation, Visual performance


Microsaccades are involuntary eye movements occurring naturally during fixation. In this study, microsaccades were investigated under monocularly and binocularly stimulated conditions with respect to their directional distribution and rate signature, that refers to a curve reporting the frequency modulation of microsaccades over time. For monocular stimulation the left eye was covered by an infrared filter. In both stimulation conditions, participants fixated a Gabor patch presented randomly in orientation of 45° or 135° over a wide range of spatial frequencies appearing in the center of a monitor. Considering the microsaccadic directions, this study showed microsaccades to be preferably horizontally oriented in their mean direction, regardless of the spatial characteristics of the grating. Furthermore, this outcome was found to be consistent between both stimulation conditions. Moreover, this study found that the microsaccadic rate signature curve correlates between both stimulation conditions, while the curve given for binocular stimulation was already proposed as a tool for estimation of visual performance in the past.

Therefore, this study extends the applicability of microsaccades to clinical use, since parameters as contrast sensitivity, has been measured monocularly in the clinical attitude.

How to Cite
Essig, P., Leube, A., Rifai, K., & Wahl, S. (2020). Microsaccadic rate signatures correlate under monocular and binocular stimulation conditions. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 13(5). https://doi.org/10.16910/jemr.13.5.3
Special Thematic Issue: „Microsaccades: Empirical Research and Methodological Advances“

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