Visual Processing: Subcortical Mechanisms for Gaze Control

For perception to be useful, one needs to actively orient sensory receptors toward the most relevant stimuli in the outside world. In the case of the visual system, the eyes must be oriented so that light reflected from the visual scene falls on photoreceptors within the retina at the back of the eye. In particular, light from the object of greatest interest needs to fall on the fovea. The fovea is the part of the retina with the densest distribution of photoreceptors and thus provides the highest visual acuity. The line between the fovea and the object of regard is known as the gaze direction and movements that change gaze direction are called gaze shifts. Our brains possess complex motor pathways for shifting and holding ...

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