Evidence against visual integration across saccadic eye movements

David E. Irwin, Steven Yantis, John Jonides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the classic problems in perception concerns how we perceive a stable, continuous visual world even though we view it via a temporally discontinuous series of eye movements. Previous investigators have suggested that our perception of a stable visual environment is due to an integrative visual buffer, a special memory store capable of fusing the visual contents of successive fixations according to their environmental coordinates. In this paper, three experiments are reported that attempted to demonstrate the existence of an integrative visual buffer. The experimental procedure required subjects to mentally fuse two halves of a dot matrix presented in the same spatial region of a display, but separated by an eye movement so that each half was viewed only during one fixation. Thus, subjects had to integrate packets of visual information that had the same environmental coordinates, but different retinal coordinates. No evidence was found in any experiment for the fusion of visual information from successive fixations in memory, leaving the status of the integrative visual buffer in serious doubt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • General Psychology


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