Susana Martinez-Conde

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Our eyes continually move even while we fix our gaze on an object. Although these fixational eye movements have a magnitude that should make them visible to us, we are unaware of them. If fixational eye movements are counteracted, our visual perception fades completely as a result of neural adaptation. So, our visual system has a built-in paradox — we must(More)
Our eyes move continually, even while we fixate our gaze on an object. If fixational eye movements are counteracted, our perception of stationary objects fades completely, due to neural adaptation. Some studies have suggested that fixational microsaccades refresh retinal images, thereby preventing adaptation and fading. However, other studies disagree, and(More)
When images are stabilized on the retina, visual perception fades. During voluntary visual fixation, however, constantly occurring small eye movements, including microsaccades, prevent this fading. We previously showed that microsaccades generated bursty firing in the primary visual cortex (area V-1) in the presence of stationary stimuli. Here we examine(More)
When viewing a stationary object, we unconsciously make small, involuntary eye movements or ‘microsaccades’. If displacements of the retinal image are prevented, the image quickly fades from perception. To understand how microsaccades sustain perception, we studied their relationship to the firing of cells in primary visual cortex (V1). We tracked eye(More)
Microsaccades are known to occur during prolonged visual fixation, but it is a matter of controversy whether they also happen during free-viewing. Here we set out to determine: 1) whether microsaccades occur during free visual exploration and visual search, 2) whether microsaccade dynamics vary as a function of visual stimulation and viewing task, and 3)(More)
Microsaccades are the largest and fastest of the fixational eye movements, which are involuntary eye movements produced during attempted visual fixation. In recent years, the interaction between microsaccades, perception and cognition has become one of the most rapidly growing areas of study in visual neuroscience. The neurophysiological consequences of(More)
Spatial attention enhances our ability to detect stimuli at restricted regions of the visual field. This enhancement is thought to depend on the difficulty of the task being performed, but the underlying neuronal mechanisms for this dependency remain largely unknown. We found that task difficulty modulates neuronal firing rate at the earliest stages of(More)
When we attempt to fix our gaze, our eyes nevertheless produce so-called 'fixational eye movements', which include microsaccades, drift and tremor. Fixational eye movements thwart neural adaptation to unchanging stimuli and thus prevent and reverse perceptual fading during fixation. Over the past 10 years, microsaccade research has become one of the most(More)
In visual masking, visible targets are rendered invisible by modifying the context in which they are presented, but not by modifying the targets themselves. Here, we localize the neuronal correlates of visual awareness in the human brain by using visual masking illusions. We compare monoptic visual masking activation, which we find within all retinotopic(More)
Our eyes move constantly, even when we try to fixate our gaze. Fixational eye movements prevent and restore visual loss during fixation, yet the relative impact of each type of fixational eye movement remains controversial. For over five decades, the debate has focused on microsaccades, the fastest and largest fixational eye movements. Some recent studies(More)