Saccadic suppression of achromatic and chromatic responses measured by increment-threshold spectral sensitivity

J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 1995 Apr;12(4):661-6. doi: 10.1364/josaa.12.000661.


We measured spectral-sensitivity functions during saccadic eye movement by the increment-threshold method to test whether saccades selectively suppressed achromatic or chromatic responses. A circular monochromatic test stimulus of 12-deg diameter was presented for 10 ms on a 62 deg x 43 deg white background, and observations were made under three conditions: during fixation, during 6-deg saccades, and immediately after saccades. In two additional conditions the test stimulus was made to move during fixation and during 6-deg saccades at the same speed and in the same direction as the saccades. The during-fixation spectral-sensitivity function was found to resemble the relative luminous efficiency V (lambda) function in shape except for the case of short wavelengths, whereas the during-saccade spectral-sensitivity function showed lower sensitivity for all wavelengths and had three prominent peaks at approximately 440, 530, and 600 nm. These characteristics did not depend on whether the stimulus was stationary or moving. These results indicated that saccadic suppression was greater for achromatic than for chromatic response. A possible suppression mechanism was discussed involving the magno and parvo pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Male
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology*