The effect of the Müller-Lyer illusion on saccades is modulated by spatial predictability and saccadic latency.Exp Brain Res. 2010 Jun; 203(4):671-9.EB
Studies investigating the effect of visual illusions on saccadic eye movements have provided a wide variety of results. In this study, we test three factors that might explain this variability: the spatial predictability of the stimulus, the duration of the stimulus and the latency of the saccades. Participants made a saccade from one end of a Müller-Lyer figure to the other end. By changing the spatial predictability of the stimulus, we find that the illusion has a clear effect on saccades (16%) when the stimulus is at a highly predictable location. Even stronger effects of the illusion are found when the stimulus location becomes more unpredictable (19-23%). Conversely, manipulating the duration of the stimulus fails to reveal a clear difference in illusion effect. Finally, by computing the illusion effect for different saccadic latencies, we find a maximum illusion effect (about 30%) for very short latencies, which decreases by 7% with every 100 ms latency increase. We conclude that spatial predictability of the stimulus and saccadic latency influences the effect of the Müller-Lyer illusion on saccades.