​Graduate Student Seminar

Seminar | November 6 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

 Mehmet N Agaoglu

 Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Title: Miniature eye movements are tuned but not optimal for fine discrimination at the fovea

Abstract: Human eyes are never stable, even during attempts of maintaining gaze on a visual target. Considering transient response characteristics of retinal ganglion cells, a certain amount of motion of the eyes is required to efficiently encode information and to prevent neural adaptation. However, excessive motion of the eyes leads to insufficient exposure to the stimuli which creates blur and reduces visual acuity. Normal miniature eye movements fall in between these extremes but it is unclear if they are optimally tuned for seeing fine spatial details. We used a state-of- the-art retinal imaging technique with eye tracking to address this question. We sought to determine the optimal gain (stimulus/eye motion ratio) that corresponds to maximum performance in an orientation discrimination task performed at the fovea. We found that miniature eye movements in normal vision are tuned, but not optimal, for seeing fine spatial details.