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Tiny Eye Movements Help Us See Contrast

Being able to distinguish between objects is a very important visual function. It is previously thought that it relies on eye optics and brain processing. A new study suggests that it actually has to do with tiny eye movements.

“Historically these eye movements have been pretty much ignored,” says Michele Rucci, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester in the US. “But what seems to be happening is that they are contributing to vision in a number of different ways, including contrast sensitivity function.”
If we fix our eyes on a single point, the world may appear still. But microscopically, our eyes are always moving – known as “fixational eye movements”. Without these movements continually refreshing visual input to the retina, an image can fade from view.

(Image credit: Gabby Orcutt/Unsplash)


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Yeah, we had an illusion not long ago that demonstrated how an image would fade if you stared at it. The first thing I noticed was how it didn't work if your eyes moved even the slightest!
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