Suppression of Face Perception during Saccadic Eye Movements

J Ophthalmol. 2014;2014:384510. doi: 10.1155/2014/384510. Epub 2014 Apr 24.


Lack of awareness of a stimulus briefly presented during saccadic eye movement is known as saccadic omission. Studying the reduced visibility of visual stimuli around the time of saccade-known as saccadic suppression-is a key step to investigate saccadic omission. To date, almost all studies have been focused on the reduced visibility of simple stimuli such as flashes and bars. The extension of the results from simple stimuli to more complex objects has been neglected. In two experimental tasks, we measured the subjective and objective awareness of a briefly presented face stimuli during saccadic eye movement. In the first task, we measured the subjective awareness of the visual stimuli and showed that in most of the trials there is no conscious awareness of the faces. In the second task, we measured objective sensitivity in a two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) face detection task, which demonstrated chance-level performance. Here, we provide the first evidence of complete suppression of complex visual stimuli during the saccadic eye movement.