A comparison of blink and saccadic suppression in normal observers

W. H. Ridder*, A. Tomlinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose. Recent research suggests that blink and saccadic suppression are produced by the same mechanism since they have the same effect on various visual functions (Volkmann, 1986; Sato and Uchikawa, 1993; Ridder and Tomlinson, 1993, 1995). However, none of these studies have made comparisons in the same individuals. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of blink and saccadic suppression on contrast sensitivity functions in the same subject. Methods. The effect of saccadic suppression on the contrast sensitivity function in seven normal observers was determined. Employing a temporal, 2AFC technique, thresholds were measured for seven spatial frequencies (0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 15 c/deg; horizontal sine-wave grating). At each spatial frequency, the threshold was determined at 0 msec after the detection of a voluntary, horizontal saccade (6, 12, 18, or 24 degrees). The magnitude of suppression was taken as the difference between the thresholds obtained during the saccade and while foveating the stimulus. The blink suppression data was taken from Ridder and Tomlinson (1993) for three of the subjects. Results. The magnitudes of blink and saccadic suppression were found to be spatial frequency dependent (greatest suppression at low spatial frequencies). By normalizing the suppression data (a vertical shift), the data for blink and saccadic suppression overlapped. Conclusion. These results support the suggestion that blink and saccadic suppression are produced by the same spatial frequency dependent mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S526
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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