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Microsaccades, or tiny eye movements that take place during periods of fixation, have long been thought to be random artifacts of the oculomotor system. Here we demonstrate a possible link between microsaccades and covert attention shifts. We designed two psychophysical tasks involving spatial cues that had identical sensory stimuli but differing patterns(More)
During fixation, the eyes are not still but often exhibit microsaccadic movements. The function of microsaccades is controversial, largely because the neural mechanisms responsible for their generation are unknown. Here, we show that the superior colliculus (SC), a retinotopically organized structure involved in voluntary-saccade target selection, plays a(More)
The primate superior colliculus (SC) has long been known to be involved in saccade generation. However, SC neurons also exhibit fixation-related and smooth-pursuit-related activity. A parsimonious explanation for these seemingly disparate findings is that the SC contains a map of behaviorally relevant goal locations, rather than just a motor map for(More)
Microsaccades during fixation exhibit distinct time courses of frequency and direction modulations after stimulus onsets, but the mechanisms for these modulations are unresolved. On the one hand, microsaccade rate drops within <100 ms after stimulus onset, a phenomenon described as microsaccadic inhibition. On the other, the directions of the rare(More)
Saccadic suppression, a behavioral phenomenon in which perceptual thresholds are elevated before, during, and after saccadic eye movements, is an important mechanism for maintaining perceptual stability. However, even during fixation, the eyes never remain still, but undergo movements including microsaccades, drift, and tremor. The neural mechanisms for(More)
The use of awake, fixating monkeys in neuroscience has allowed significant advances in understanding numerous brain functions. However, fixation is an active process, with the occurrence of incessant eye movements, including rapid ones called microsaccades. Even though microsaccades have been shown to be modulated by stimulus and cognitive processes in(More)
Microsaccades are small eye movements that occur during gaze fixation. Although taking place only when we attempt to stabilize gaze position, microsaccades can be understood by relating them to the larger voluntary saccades, which abruptly shift gaze position. Starting from this approach to microsaccade analysis, I show how it can lead to significant(More)
An accurate and robust face recognition system was developed and tested. This system exploits the feature extraction capabilities of the discrete cosine transform (DCT) and invokes certain normalization techniques that increase its robustness to variations in facial geometry and illumination. The method was tested on a variety of available face databases,(More)
During visual fixation, the image of an object is maintained within the fovea. Previous studies have shown that such maintenance involves the deep superior colliculus (dSC). However, the mechanisms by which the dSC supports visual fixation remain controversial. According to one view, activity in the rostral dSC maintains gaze direction by preventing neurons(More)
The characteristics of microsaccades, or small fixational saccades, and their influence on visual function have been studied extensively. However, the detailed mechanisms for generating these movements are less understood. We recently found that the superior colliculus (SC), a midbrain structure involved in saccade generation, also plays a role in(More)