Saccadic eye movements cause compression of time as well as space

Nat Neurosci. 2005 Jul;8(7):950-4. doi: 10.1038/nn1488.


There is now considerable evidence that space is compressed when stimuli are flashed shortly before or after the onset of a saccadic eye movement. Here we report that short intervals of time between two successive perisaccadic visual (but not auditory) stimuli are also underestimated, indicating a compression of perceived time. We were even more surprised that in a critical interval before saccades, perceived temporal order is consistently reversed. The very similar time courses of spatial and temporal compression suggest that both are mediated by a common neural mechanism, probably related to the predictive shifts that occur in receptive fields of many visual areas at the time of saccades.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Perceptual Distortion / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*