Visibility states modulate microsaccade rate and direction

Jie Cui, Melanie Wilke, Nikos K. Logothetis, David A. Leopold, Hualou Liang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We investigated how the perceptual visibility of a target influences the pattern of microsaccadic eye movements expressed during generalized flash suppression. We found that the microsaccade rate was highly dependent on the reported visibility of the target. In the visible trials, the microsaccade rate promptly rebounded to the pre-onset level, whereas on the invisible trials the rate remained low, reaching pre-onset levels hundreds of milliseconds later. In addition, the directional distributions of microsaccades were biased to the target positions in the visible condition. The present findings indicate that the microsaccade behavior is highly correlated with the perceptual state of target visibility, and suggest that the measured microsaccade rate and direction are reliable indicators of the perception. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)228-236
    Number of pages8
    JournalVision Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


    • Fixation
    • Generalized flash suppression
    • Microsaccade
    • Multistable perception
    • Visual attention


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