My research focuses on visual perception under the presence of eye movements.

Post-saccadic visual dynamic

During natural viewing, humans constantly move their eyes, making several saccades per second. During fixation between saccades, the eye continues to make jitter-like movements known as drift. Both eye movements result in the discarding of redundant information in natural scenes (whitening), but the bandwidth of spatial frequencies affected by whitening differs [1-3]. Our experiment showed that the sensitivity to low spatial frequency started high immediately after a saccade, and further exposure was not beneficial at the center of gaze and led to minial improvement at larger eccentricities. On the other hand, sensitivity to high spatial frequency was low at first but continued to increase during post-saccadic fixation. Therefore, we show that luminance modulations from the natural saccade/drift cycle contribute to a global coarse-to-fine processing dynamics throughout the visual field. Saccades are responsible for establishing a visual gist, which is later enriched by fixational contributions.

Retinal image power by saccade sizes

This study takes a further step and looks at the luminance modulation of saccades with different amplitudes. The cut-off frequency of whitening depends on the velocity profile of the saccade, and therefore its amplitude (because of the main sequence) [4]. For example, a large saccade (6 deg) may reduce power between 0.1 cpd while a small saccade (1 deg) can reduce power up to 1 cpd. This is confirmed by the preliminary data, and further data collection is ongoing. If you are interested in participating as a subject (and getting paid), please feel free to write to me!

Revolving field eye coil system

It is a high-resolution tracking system that combines a Revolving Field Monitor (and search coils as contact lenses) and OptiTrack Motion Capture Systems [5]. We are able to record eye movements and head movements in a head free environment while subjects engage in all kinds of task such as threading a needle and visual search.


[1] Kuang, X., Poletti, M., Victor, J.D., and Rucci, M. (2012). Temporal encoding of spatial nformation during active visual fixation. Current Biololgy, 22, 510–514.

[2] M. Rucci, E. Ahissar, and D. Burr, (2018) Temporal coding of visual space, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22(10): 883-895.

[3] Boi, M., Poletti, M., Victor, J. D., & Rucci, M. (2017). Consequences of the oculomotor ycle for the dynamics of perception. Current Biology, 27(9), 1268-1277

[4] Mostofi, N., Zhao, Z., Intoy, J., Boi, M., Victor, J. D., & Rucci, M. (2020). Spatiotemporal Content of Saccade Transients. Current Biology, 30(20), 3999- 4008.

[5] K. Eibenberger, B. Eibenberger and M. Rucci (2016), Design, simulation and evaluation of uniform magnetic field systems for head-free eye movement recordings with scleral search coils. IEEE Proc. Engineering in Medicine and Biology.