Transsaccadic perceptual fusion

J Vis. 2017 Jan 1;17(1):14. doi: 10.1167/17.1.14.


Transsaccadic perceptual fusion is the integration of pre- and postsaccadic images into a single percept aligned in spatial coordinates. Several early studies reported an absence of transsaccadic fusion between dissimilar patterns, effectively stopping research on this question for three decades. We have now corrected two problematic aspects of these earlier studies and find robust evidence for transsaccadic perceptual fusion. First, we used simple pre- and postsaccadic targets, (|, ) for which spatial alignment is not critical. Second, we reduced the contrast of the postsaccadic stimulus, so that it would not suppress fusion. Participants reported seeing a superposition of the pre- and postsaccadic targets on 67% of trials. Importantly, we obtained similar results when the two stimuli were presented without an intervening eye movement, suggesting the existence of a general fusion mechanism. Directional biases in the saccade condition suggest that remapping might be the mechanism realigning the pre- and postsaccadic locations. Remapping may thus not only predict where targets will be located after a saccade but may also guide content, predicting what targets will look like. However, the constraints on the appearance of the fused percept suggest that it plays, at best, a limited role in visual stability across saccades.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult