Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Resolve 40-year Eye Movement, Visibility Controversy

Date:
January 19, 2006
Source:
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
Summary:
For more than 40 years, a scientific controversy has raged over whether microsaccades, rapid eye movements that occur when a person's gaze is fixated, are responsible for visibility. Research conducted at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix has recently resolved the debate, establishing that microsaccades are indeed responsible for driving 80 percent of our visual experience.

For more than 40 years, a scientific controversy has raged over whether microsaccades, rapid eye movements that occur when a person's gaze is fixated, are responsible for visibility.

Research conducted at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix has recently resolved the debate, establishing that microsaccades are indeed responsible for driving 80 percent of our visual experience.

Even when eyes are fixated carefully on an object, they continue to make tiny movements called fixational eye movements. These movements cause nearly constant stimulation of the retina. "If our eye was perfectly still during fixation, the world would quickly fade from view due to the fact that the neurons in our eyes and brain quickly adapt to non-changing stimulation," said lead researcher Dr. Susana Martinez-Conde.

There are three types of fixational eye movements: microsaccades, which are fast movements that travel in a straight line; drifts, which are slow curvy motions that occur between microsaccades; and tremors, which are very fast, extremely small oscillations of the eye superimposed on drifts.

"It is critical that we know which of these fixational eye movements is primarily responsible for keeping the world from fading because in normal visual conditions we fixate our gaze 80 percent of the time," said Dr. Martinez-Conde. Her lab established the vital role of microsaccades in vision by measuring fixational eye movements in subjects whose gaze was concentrated on one object.

Not only does this new discovery resolve a scientific debate, it also brings new hope to patients who are blind much of the time due to fixational eye movement problems.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. "Researchers Resolve 40-year Eye Movement, Visibility Controversy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060118210347.htm>.
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. (2006, January 19). Researchers Resolve 40-year Eye Movement, Visibility Controversy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060118210347.htm
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. "Researchers Resolve 40-year Eye Movement, Visibility Controversy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060118210347.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins