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How Saccadic Eye Movements Shape Our Visual Perception


3 min


Saccadic eye movements

Have you ever wondered how you can look at different things so quickly? Well, it’s all thanks to something called saccadic eye movements. These super-fast jumps of our eyes help us see the world around us clearly. Let’s take a closer look at how these eye movements work and why they’re so important.

The Basics of Saccadic Movements

Saccadic eye movements are like super-speedy jumps our eyes make from one thing to another. More specifically, saccade is a quick, conjugate movement of the eyes that moves the centre of vision from one area of the visual field to another. Imagine your eyes quickly jumping from one word to the next as you read a book. That’s a saccade!

They’re different from other eye movements, like when you follow a moving object or when your eyes stay steady while your head moves.

These jumps happen thanks to our amazing brain, which coordinates everything. When we decide to look at something new, our brain sends signals to the muscles in our eyes, telling them where to move. It all happens in a fraction of a second, so we don’t even notice it!

Saccades and Visual Perception

Saccades are like little helpers that make sure we see everything clearly. Whether you’re reading a book, watching a movie, or playing sports, saccadic movements help us focus on what’s important. They’re like the glue that holds all the bits of what we see together, so it makes sense.

For example, when you’re reading a sentence, your eyes jump from word to word to keep up with the story. Without these quick movements, reading would be much slower and more confusing. Saccadic eye movements also help us find things quickly, like spotting a friend in a crowd or catching a ball flying towards us.

Common Eye Movements Problems: Saccadic dysfunction

Sometimes, our eye movements can have hiccups. Problems like saccadic inefficiency, where our eyes don’t move smoothly, or ocular dysmetria, where they don’t land where we want them to, can make things tricky. You might find it hard to read smoothly, get tired eyes, or struggle with catching a ball.

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These issues can affect our daily lives, making tasks like reading, driving, or playing sports more challenging. But the good news is that there are ways to help improve our saccadic movements and make seeing easier and more comfortable.

Eye movements disorders

How to Improve Saccadic Eye Movements

Vision therapy is like exercise for our eyes. We can do special activities to help our eyes move more accurately and quickly. It’s like training for a race but for our eyes!

Vision therapy exercises might include things like following moving targets, practicing jumping our eyes from one point to another, or using computer programs that challenge our focus and attention. With a bit of practice, we can help our eyes work better and make seeing the world a whole lot easier.


So, the next time you’re reading a book, playing a game, or simply looking around, remember the amazing work your eyes are doing with those quick jumps called saccadic movements. And if you ever feel like your eyes need a bit of help, remember that vision therapy is there to lend a hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are saccadic eye movements


Saccadic eye movements are rapid jumps our eyes make from one point of interest to another. Unlike smooth pursuit movements or vestibular ocular movements, saccades involve quick shifts in gaze. They are orchestrated by a complex interplay of muscles and neural signals, triggered by signals from the brain to the muscles controlling eye movement.

What role do saccadic eye movements play in our visual perception?

Saccadic eye movements are essential for tasks requiring visual attention, such as reading, driving, or playing sports. They enable us to focus on relevant stimuli by quickly shifting our gaze from one point of interest to another.

What are common problems associated with saccadic eye movements, and how can they be addressed?

Common issues related to saccadic eye movements include saccadic inefficiency, where eye movements are jerky or irregular, and ocular dysmetria. These problems can manifest as difficulties in reading fluency, eye strain, or compromised hand-eye coordination. Fortunately, vision therapy offers a promising solution. Through tailored exercises and techniques, vision therapists can help individuals improve the accuracy, speed, and coordination of their saccadic movements, thereby enhancing overall visual performance and quality of life.

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Why Do We Suggest a Minimum Time of 6 Months for Success?

Based on the data from over 15,000 patients using AmblyoPlay, improvements start within 4 months, while optimal results take anywhere between 6-18 months on average. The duration of required training depends on the patient’s age, the severity of the problem, accompanying diseases, and adherence to the training program.