1. Computational and Systems Biology
  2. Neuroscience
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Saccadic suppression as a perceptual consequence of efficient sensorimotor estimation

  1. Frederic Crevecoeur  Is a corresponding author
  2. Konrad P Kording  Is a corresponding author
  1. Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  2. Northwestern University, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 21
  • Views 1,784
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Cite this article as: eLife 2017;6:e25073 doi: 10.7554/eLife.25073


Humans perform saccadic eye movements two to three times per second. When doing so, the nervous system strongly suppresses sensory feedback for extended periods of time in comparison to movement time. Why does the brain discard so much visual information? Here we suggest that perceptual suppression may arise from efficient sensorimotor computations, assuming that perception and control are fundamentally linked. More precisely, we show theoretically that a Bayesian estimator should reduce the weight of sensory information around the time of saccades, as a result of signal dependent noise and of sensorimotor delays. Such reduction parallels the behavioral suppression occurring prior to and during saccades, and the reduction in neural responses to visual stimuli observed across the visual hierarchy. We suggest that saccadic suppression originates from efficient sensorimotor processing, indicating that the brain shares neural resources for perception and control.

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Author details

  1. Frederic Crevecoeur

    Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Electronics and Applied Mathematics, Université catholique de Louvain, Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-1147-1153
  2. Konrad P Kording

    Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, Chicago, United States
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.


Fonds De La Recherche Scientifique - FNRS (1.B.087.15F)

  • Frederic Crevecoeur

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Emilio Salinas, Wake Forest School of Medicine, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: January 11, 2017
  2. Accepted: April 30, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: May 2, 2017 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 30, 2017 (version 2)


© 2017, Crevecoeur & Kording

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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