A theory of visual stability across saccadic eye movements
We identify two aspects of the problem of maintaining perceptual stability despite an observer's eye movements. The first, visual direction constancy, is the (egocentric) stability of apparent positions of objects in the visual world relative to the perceiver. The second, visual position constancy, is the (exocentric) stability of positions of objects relative to each other. We analyze the constancy of visual direction despite saccadic eye movements.Three information sources have been proposed to enable the visual system to achieve stability: the structure of the visual field, proprioceptive inflow, and a copy of neural efference or outflow to the extraocular muscles. None of these sources by itself provides adequate information to achieve visual direction constancy; present evidence indicates that all three are used.Our final question concerns how information processing operations result in a stable world. The three traditionally suggested means have been elimination, translation, or evaluation. All are rejected. From a review of the physiological and psychological evidence we conclude that no subtraction, compensation, or evaluation need take place. The problem for which these solutions were developed turns out to be a false one. We propose a âcalibrationâ solution: correct spatiotopic positions are calculated anew for each fixation. Inflow, outflow, and retinal sources are used in this calculation: saccadic suppression of displacement bridges the errors between these sources and the actual extent of movement.