Abstract

Color recognition during voluntary eye movements has been measured by presenting various luminances of red, blue, or green test flashes superimposed on a white adaptation field. A 3-μsec test flash is delivered at various times before, during, or after a saccadic eye movement that is recorded on film by use of ultraviolet light reflected from the cornea. Color recognition is found to be best when the flash is presented during steady fixation, somewhat poorer just before a saccade, and still poorer just after a saccade. The poorest recognition of red and green test flashes occurs when the flash arrives precisely in the middle of a saccade; with blue stimuli, the maximum inhibition occurs when the flash arrives 40 to 80 msec later. Recognition of colors is not impaired during a control procedure in which the subject moves his hand to trigger the stimulus flash during steady fixation. Hence it is concluded that a specific visual suppression accompanies eye movements but not other motor activities that might equally well divert attention from the visual task.

© 1970 Optical Society of America

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