Katie spent 8 weeks in the lab this summer to study adaptation to dynamic stimuli. She’s now back at the University of Nevada, Reno to finish up her PhD thesis, and we’ll continue to collaborate on the project we started here.

Hannah spent the last 9 months in the lab and collected lots of data on perceptual consequences of eye blinks. More on that soon :). She’s now at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England to study for her Masters degree in Cognitive Neuroscience.

Good luck, Katie and Hannah!


Gerrit presented some recent findings from his studies on eye blinks (with co-author Thérèse Collins). See abstract below:

Single-blink adaptation of gaze direction to correct for oculomotor errors

When a fixation target is displaced repeatedly during eye blinks, the oculomotor system adapts: when a target is moved laterally by a fixed step size during repeated eye blinks, the initial gaze direction after each eye blink becomes biased towards the new target positions, without the subject noticing. Previously reported for repeated identical displacements, here we show that this adaptation of gaze can also occur for random target steps, and is evident after just one blink. Observers were instructed to fixate a target dot on the screen. We detected eye blinks in real-time and used them to trigger random target jumps left or right (between 0.1 and 1.0 degrees). We recorded the first gaze direction after each eye blink, and observers reported the perceived direction of each jump. The change in gaze direction from one blink to the next correlated with the retinal position of the target after the previous blink. This correlation was reduced, when observers perceived the previous jump accurately. This is evidence for a fast-acting adaptive mechanism: when visual changes during blinks are not perceived as object motion, the oculomotor system tries to compensate for previously experienced errors due to oculomotor noise.