Visual stability

Bruce Bridgeman

in The Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199539789
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Visual stability

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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Space constancy, the perception that the visual world remains stable despite the fact that all visual information arrives through retinas that are in continuous motion, has historically been explained by an ‘efference copy’ of eye innervation that is subtracted from retinal image shifts. Quantitative work has found the efference copy to be too small and too slow to offer full compensation. A newer conception is that little is carried over from one fixation to the next; we do not build a visual world by pasting together samples calibrated with efference copy, but use what is currently available, plus a gist and a few previously attended objects. The stable, rich visual world of our perception is more promise than physiological reality.

Keywords: efference copy; space constancy; visual stability; saccadic eye movements; visual fixation

Article.  7282 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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