Small eye movements critical for 20/20 vision
Updated: Feb 27
This year has been off to a wonderful start ! My first first-author paper came out in Nature Communications last week - Finely tuned eye movements enhance visual acuity - about the role of small eye movements in achieving 20/20 vision (in the year 2020 nonetheless!).
I started this project as a rotating student in the Active Perception lab in 2016 to investigate the impact of fixational eye movements (microsaccades and ocular drift) to visual acuity as measured by a standard eye chart test. It turns out that eye movements not only contribute 2 lines of an eye chart to acuity (without small eye movements humans can only achieve 20/30 vision!), but they are also actively tuned to the needs of the task by precisely positioning gaze on the eye chart and jittering in a very specific way compared to otherwise normal fixations. Even though humans aren't aware of making these movements, they are critical for achieving high acuity vision.
I am excited to finally share this work with the public, and am happy to see the press coverage it is receiving!