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The Science Behind Non-Blurry Vision, In Spite of Constant Eye Movement

If our eyes constantly move around to see, then how come our vision doesn't get blurry as they move? Knowable Magazine's Tim Vernimmen got that question handled:

   There are a number of reasons why these movements don’t transform our view of the world into a blur of motion. One is that the most distinct things in our field of view may render us blind to other stimuli that are fleeting and faint: Objects that are in clear sight when our eyes don’t move are likely to make a more vivid impression than the blur in between. Scientists refer to this phenomenon as visual masking, and it is thought to be very common in real-life situations where a lot is going on at the same time.

But visual masking - or transitioning from one angle to another can get unsettling and does not explain enough stability in our vision. Vernimmen cites Robert Wurtz (United States National Eye Institute) as he elaborates:

   A kind of remapping happens even before we move our eyes. In experiments with macaques that were trained to make predictable saccades, brain cells that receive signals from one particular spot in the retina switched from responding to things currently in view there to things that would show up only after the saccade. In this way, Wurtz thinks, the current image is gradually replaced by the future one.

Head on over to Knowable magazine to know more about how we keep our vision: (a)not blurry, and (b) stable regardless of the consistent eye movement. Via The Smithsonian

image credit: Weekend Way via Giphy


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Wow, her's really go (maybe mine are the same, beats me)! I saw a few other videos yesterday and was surprised at how different it is for different people.
No, glasses can't stop the jiggle, just improve vision as per normal. Since vision is compromised, I think corrective lenses are kind of necessary.
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Quick followup.
After I posted my previous comment I decided to do a search for Nystagmus. I came across YouTube videos of people with it also.
Although I've lived with it all of my life, I've never seen it before. When I look in the mirror I don't see it. I don't know if it stops for some reason or if my brain corrects things to such an extent that it completely counters the visual effect, but I've simply never seen eyes wobble with Nystagmus before. And when I look in the mirror I'm looking straight at my reflection, no head turning.
I also never knew the correlation of my head tilting/turning to improve focus and that relationship of my eyes constantly moving. It wasn't until about 6 months ago that I decided to look it up out of curiosity and learned that my eyes apparently don't jiggle as much when my head is in certain positions. Made/makes sense.
For having something all of my life, I guess that goes to show how much it actually bothers me. Really, not at all besides the odd times when it's blatantly obvious that it's making somebody uncomfortable or they're weirded out by it, which is kind of embarrassing. I usually specifically say "yeah, my eyes constantly move, it's just something I was born with. It's weird."
I'm forty-three.
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I have Nystagmus. It's like when your eyes jiggle when asleep (REM), but it's 24-7 for me. I was born with it.
The world most definitely doesn't jiggle along with my eye movements. Everything is still and normal, same as anybody else would see things. If I really, really, really concentrate, I can tell that the very edges of my peripheral vision are impacted with a constant viewing more/less by a small amount.
The only impact this has on me is that in order to really focus on things, I naturally turn my head at very weird angles. It looks more like I'm deaf in one ear and am trying to turn my head to have my good ear more 'in front' to pick up sound... but that's not it at all. Apparently when my head is in specific positions my eyes don't jiggle as much, so my brain naturally wants me to have my head turned in those positions. Looks weird. Can be embarrassing at times when people think I'm looking off into space. When I'm driving it looks like my head is constantly facing the passengers side of the windshield. 99% of the time I don't notice that I'm doing it. I wear glasses vs contacts so that I can try and line my head up straight by using the arms of my glasses as 'straight-ahead' guides. When I used to wear contacts I always wore a hat, so I could use the peak of my hat as the same type of guide.
Since I was born with it, I basically don't notice it. People can however, without rhyme or reason, wake up with it one day at any point in their lives. Although the brain would correct for it, same as me, it must be an awful feeling for those people at first. I would imagine a person could feel sea sick.
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