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 July 22, 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 July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
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