Squeezing the uncertainty from saccadic compression

Craig Chapman, Amelia Hunt, Alan Kingstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brief visual stimuli presented before and during a saccade are often mislocalized due to spatial compression. This saccadic compression effect is thought to have a perceptual basis, and results in visual objects being squeezed together and their number underestimated. Here we show that observers are also uncertain about their visual experiences just before and during a saccade. It is known that responses tend to be biased away from extreme values under conditions of uncertainty. Thus, a plausible alternative explanation of compression is that it reflects the uncertainty-bias to underestimate the number of items that were presented. We test this hypothesis and find that saccadic compression is independent of certainty, and is significantly modulated by orientation, with larger effects for stimuli oriented horizontally, in the direction of the saccade. These findings confirm that saccadic compression is a perceptual phenomenon that may enable seamless perceptual continuity across saccades.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Eye Movement Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2007


  • eye movements
  • receptive fieds
  • saccadic compression
  • decision uncertainty


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