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Neural Mechanisms of Saccadic Suppression

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alexander Thiele


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In normal vision our gaze leaps from detail to detail, resulting in rapid image motion across the retina. Yet we are unaware of such motion, a phenomenon known as saccadic suppression. We recorded neural activity in the middle temporal and middle superior temporal cortical areas during saccades and identical image motion under passive viewing conditions. Some neurons were selectively silenced during saccadic image motion, but responded well to identical external image motion. In addition, a subpopulation of neurons reversed their preferred direction of motion during saccades. Consequently, oppositely directed motion signals annul one another, and motion percepts are suppressed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Thiele A; Henning P; Kubischik M; Hoffmann KP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Science

Year: 2002

Volume: 295

Issue: 5564

Pages: 2460-2462

ISSN (print): 0036-8075

ISSN (electronic): 1095-9203

Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science


DOI: 10.1126/science.1068788


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