Fixational eye movement correction of blink-induced gaze position errors

Francisco M. Costela, Jorge Otero-Millan, Michael B. McCamy, Stephen L. Macknik, Xoana G. Troncoso, Ali Najafian Jazi, Sharon Crook, Susana Martinez-Conde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Our eyes move continuously. Even when we attempt to fix our gaze, we produce "fixational" eye movements including microsaccades, drift and tremor. The potential role of microsaccades versus drifts in the control of eye position has been debated for decades and remains in question today. Here we set out to determine the corrective functions of microsaccades and drifts on gaze-position errors due to blinks in non-human primates (Macaca mulatta) and humans. Our results show that blinks contribute to the instability of gaze during fixation, and that microsaccades, but not drifts, correct fixation errors introduced by blinks. These findings provide new insights about eye position control during fixation, and indicate a more general role of microsaccades in fixation correction than thought previously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere110889
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 21 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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