Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD
SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
From Fixation to Exploration: An Integrative View of Oculomotor Function
During visual exploration, saccadic eye movements scan the scene for objects of interest. During attempted fixation, the eyes are relatively still but often produce microsaccades. Though exploration and fixation have traditionally been regarded as two distinct oculomotor behaviors, an alternative model is that fixation and exploration are not dichotomous, but the two extremes of a functional continuum. I will present data from healthy subjects as well as patients suffering from neurological disease, supporting the view that visual fixation is functionally equivalent to visual exploration on a spatially focused scale. I will also discuss my lab’s research using microsaccade production to better understand the role of area V1 in the perceptual distinction between self-motion and world-motion. Finally, I will present our latest findings on what oculomotor behavior might reveal about the perception of art.