Martin Rolfs

Martin Rolfs
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | HU Berlin · Department of Psychology

Dr. phil.

About

148
Publications
15,455
Reads
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4,155
Citations
Citations since 2016
86 Research Items
2554 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Additional affiliations
October 2012 - present
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Position
  • Emmy Noether junior research group leader
March 2012 - September 2012
Aix-Marseille Université
March 2010 - February 2012
New York University

Publications

Publications (148)
Article
We easily recover the causal properties of visual events, enabling us to understand and predict changes in the physical world. We see a tennis racket hitting a ball and sense that it caused the ball to fly over the net; we may also have an eerie but equally compelling experience of causality if the streetlights turn on just as we slam our car's doo...
Article
Full-text available
Humans and other animals with foveate vision make saccadic eye movements to prioritize the visual analysis of behaviorally relevant information. Even before movement onset, visual processing is selectively enhanced at the target of a saccade, presumably gated by brain areas controlling eye movements. Here we assess concurrent changes in visual perf...
Article
Full-text available
Many cells in retinotopic brain areas increase their activity when saccades (rapid eye movements) are about to bring stimuli into their receptive fields. Although previous work has attempted to look at the functional correlates of such predictive remapping, no study has explicitly tested for better attentional performance at the future retinal loca...
Article
Different visual attributes effectively guide attention to specific items in visual working memory (VWM), ensuring that particularly important memory contents are readily available. Predictable temporal structures contribute to this efficient use of VWM: items are prospectively prioritized when they are expected to be needed. Occasionally, however,...
Article
Full-text available
High-acuity foveal processing is vital for human vision. Nonetheless, little is known about how the preparation of large-scale rapid eye movements (saccades) affects visual sensitivity in the center of gaze. Based on findings from passive fixation tasks, we hypothesized that during saccade preparation, foveal processing anticipates soon-to-be fixat...
Article
Natural environments provide a rich spatiotemporal context that allows for visual objects to be differentiated based on different types of information: their absolute or relative spatial or temporal coordinates, or their ordinal positions in a spatial or temporal sequence. Here, we investigated which spatial and temporal properties are incidentally...
Poster
Full-text available
To establish causality between actions and their sensory consequences, active observers must correctly determine their temporal order. Adaptation to systematic delays between manual movements and sensory events is known to keep such inferences of causality calibrated. Here, we tested whether this mechanism extends to eye movements and resulting sen...
Poster
Full-text available
Keeping track of moving objects is a core task of the visual system, as they change locations or disappear behind occluders. Most frequently, however, objects change places on the retina because the eyes move. Recent evidence suggests that an object’s continuous motion can become indiscriminable from apparent motion (a simple jump) when it follows...
Poster
Full-text available
Each saccade that we make results in high-velocity image shifts on the retina, inducing large-field motion blur, which is rarely perceived during natural vision (a phenomenon known as saccadic omission). In a unique setup, in which they illuminated a room strictly during saccades, Campbell & Wurtz (1978) showed not only that such intra-saccadic sme...
Article
Researchers in the field of active perception study how sensory processes coalesce with motor actions to extract information from the world. Such actions intrinsically alter perceptual processing and have intended sensory outcomes, but also lead to incidental sensory consequences, which are side effects of moving the sensory surface to its intended...
Article
The appearance of a salient stimulus rapidly and automatically inhibits saccadic eye movements. Curiously, this "oculomotor freezing" response is triggered only by stimuli that the observer reports seeing. It remains unknown, however, if oculomotor freezing is linked to the observer's sensory experience, or their decision that a stimulus was presen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite the fovea's singular importance for active human vision, the impact of large eye movements on foveal processing remains elusive. Building on findings from passive fixation tasks, we hypothesized that during the preparation of rapid eye movements (saccades), foveal processing anticipates soon-to-be fixated visual features. Using a dynamic la...
Chapter
Full-text available
When analyzing eye tracking data, one of the central tasks is the detection of saccades. Although many automatic saccade detection algorithms exist, the field still debates how to deal with brief periods of instability around saccade offset, so-called post-saccadic oscillations (PSOs), which are especially prominent in today’s widely used video-bas...
Article
In active agents, sensory and motor processes form an inevitable bond. This wedding is particularly striking for saccadic eye movements – the prime target of Shadmehr and Ahmed's thesis – which impose frequent changes on the retinal image. Changes in movement vigor (latency and speed), therefore, will need to be accompanied by changes in visual and...
Article
Full-text available
Each saccade that we make results in high-velocity image shifts on the retina, inducing large-field motion blur, so-called intra-saccadic smear. Campbell & Wurtz (1978) showed that stable pre- and post-saccadic retinal images are sufficient to eliminate the percept of a smeared image. Here we investigated post-saccadic masking of intra-saccadic sme...
Presentation
While the prediction of fixation locations on static scenes is an active research area, neither the sequencing of saccades nor dynamic stimuli have received much attention in computational modeling. Here we present a new framework for the simulation of human exploration behavior in dynamic real-world scenes. Saccades are modeled as a sequential dec...
Preprint
Full-text available
The appearance of a salient stimulus rapidly inhibits saccadic eye movements. Curiously, this “oculomotor freezing” reflex is triggered only by stimuli that the observer reports seeing. It remains unknown, however, if oculomotor freezing is linked to the observer’s sensory experience , or their decision that a stimulus was present. To dissociate be...
Article
Full-text available
Corollary discharge (CD) signals are "copies" of motor signals sent to sensory regions that allow animals to adjust sensory consequences of self-generated actions. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by sensory and motor deficits, which may be underpinned by altered CD signaling. We evaluated oculomotor CD using the blanking task, which...
Article
Full-text available
Different visual attributes effectively guide attention to specific items in visual working memory (VWM), ensuring that particularly important memory contents are readily available. Predictable temporal structures contribute to this efficient use of VWM: items are prospectively prioritized when they are expected to be needed. Occasionally, however,...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid eye movements (saccades) incessantly shift objects across the retina. To establish object correspondence, the visual system is thought to match surface features of objects across saccades. Here, we show that an object’s intrasaccadic retinal trace—a signal previously considered unavailable to visual processing—facilitates this match making. H...
Preprint
Full-text available
Visually exploring the world around us is not a passive process. Instead, we actively explore the world and acquire visual information over time. Here, we present a new model for simulating human eye-movement behavior in dynamic real-world scenes. We model this active scene exploration as a sequential decision making process. We adapt the popular d...
Poster
Full-text available
When saccades are generated, the retinal motion that would dominate the visual input during the eye movement is not perceived. Instead, post-saccadic percepts shift backwards in time—pre-dating the new fixation to before saccade onset (Hunt & Cavanagh, 2009). We investigated whether saccades must be voluntarily initiated and consciously controlled...
Article
The pre-saccadic attention shift — a rapid increase in visual sensitivity at the target — is an inevitable precursor of saccadic eye movements. Saccade targets are often parts of the objects that are of interest to the active observer. Although the link between saccades and covert attention shifts is well established, it remains unclear if pre-sacc...
Preprint
Full-text available
When analyzing eye tracking data, one of the central tasks is the detection of saccades. Although many automatic saccade detection algorithms exist, the field still debates how to deal with brief periods of instability around saccade offset, so-called post-saccadic oscillations (PSOs), which are especially prominent in today's widely used video-bas...
Article
Goal-directed eye movements (saccades) bring peripheral objects of interest into high-acuity foveal vision. In preparation for the incoming foveal image, the perception of the saccade target may sharpen gradually before the eye movement is executed. Indeed, previous studies suggest that pre-saccadic attention shifts enhance sensitivity to high spat...
Article
Visual events are structured in space and time, yet models of visual working memory (VWM) have largely relied on tasks emphasizing spatial aspects. Here, we show that temporal properties of visual events are incidentally encoded along with spatial properties. In five experiments, participants performed change-detection tasks, in which items had uni...
Article
Full-text available
When visual objects shift rapidly across the retina, they produce motion blur. Intra-saccadic visual signals, caused incessantly by our own saccades, are thought to be eliminated at early stages of visual processing. Here we investigate whether they are still available to the visual system and could—in principle—be used as cues for localizing objec...
Article
Full-text available
Perception is shaped by actions, which determine the allocation of selective attention across the visual field. Here, we review evidence that maintenance in visual working memory is similarly influenced by actions (eye or hand movements), planned and executed well after encoding: Representations that are relevant for an upcoming action – because th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Rapid eye movements (saccades) incessantly shift object locations on the retina. To establish object correspondence across saccades, the visual system is thought to match surface features of objects upon saccade landing. Here we assessed if intra-saccadic visual information about an object's retinal trajectory informs this match-making. Ten human o...
Article
Full-text available
When visual objects shift rapidly across the retina, they produce motion blur. Intra-saccadic visual signals, caused incessantly by our own saccades, are thought to be eliminated at early stages of visual processing. Here we investigate whether they are still available to the visual system and could-in principle-be used as cues for localizing objec...
Article
Full-text available
Repeated exposure to a consistent trans-saccadic step in the position of the saccadic target reliably produces a change of saccadic gain, a well-established trans-saccadic motor learning phenomenon known as saccadic adaptation. Trans-saccadic changes can also produce perceptual effects. Specifically, a systematic increase or decrease in the size of...
Article
Full-text available
Selection for visual short-term memory (vstm) provides a basis for many cognitive functions. Saccadic eye movements sway this selection in favor of stimuli previously seen at locations congruent with their target. In three experiments, we provide converging evidence that this saccadic selection is implemented as a fundamental, inevitable selection...
Article
Full-text available
Keynote at the 20th European Conference on Eye Movement Research (ECEM) in Alicante, 20.8.2019, (Video stream not punlished on internet)
Article
Full-text available
To investigate visual perception around the time of eye movements, vision scientists manipulate stimuli contingent upon the onset of a saccade. For these experimental paradigms, timing is especially crucial, because saccade offset imposes a deadline on the display change. Although efficient online saccade detection can greatly improve timing, most...
Article
Full-text available
Saccadic eye movements sample the visual world and ensure high acuity across the visual field. To compensate for delays in processing, saccades to moving targets require predictions: The eyes must intercept the target's future position to then pursue its direction of motion. Although prediction is crucial to voluntary pursuit, it is unclear whether...
Article
All natural visual events exhibit a spatiotemporal structure, but our understanding of how temporal aspects are represented lags far behind our understanding of the role of space. Here, we present data indicating that a combination of both the spatial and the temporal structure of visual events provides frames of reference for storage in working me...
Article
Full-text available
Research on active vision heavily relies on gaze-contingent stimulus manipulations triggered by the onset of a saccade. Rapid online saccade detection is particularly essential when investigating trans-saccadic perception. Most paradigms, however, use either spatial-boundary techniques or absolute velocity thresholds. The former is reliable but slo...
Article
Full-text available
Plasticity in the oculomotor system ensures that saccadic eye movements reliably meet their visual goals-to bring regions of interest into foveal, high-acuity vision. Here, we present a comprehensive description of sensorimotor learning in saccades. We induced continuous adaptation of saccade amplitudes using a double-step paradigm, in which partic...
Article
Full-text available
As the eyes move, they incessantly impose motion blur on the retinal image, yet our perception of the world remains undisturbed. In fact, it is often assumed that intrasaccadic visual signals are largely eliminated from processing by a dedicated suppression mechanism. Here, we describe an easy-to-build presentation device that produces a stimulus t...
Poster
Full-text available
Before the onset of a saccade, visual sensitivity increases at the saccade goal. In natural vision, movement targets are often part of extended objects, raising the question whether pre-saccadic attention is confined to the movement goal or instead selects entire target objects. We measured attention as performance in a visual discrimination task b...
Preprint
Full-text available
To investigate visual perception around the time of eye movements, vision scientists manipulate stimuli contingent upon the onset of a saccade. For these experimental paradigms, timing is especially crucial, as saccade offset imposes a deadline on the display change. Although efficient online saccade detection can greatly improve timing, most algor...
Article
Corollary discharge (CD)signals are motor-related signals that exert an influence on sensory processing. They allow mobile organisms to predict the sensory consequences of their imminent actions. Among the many functions of CD is to provide a means by which we can distinguish sensory experiences caused by our own actions from those with external ca...
Article
Full-text available
By predicting sensory consequences of actions, humans can distinguish self-generated sensory inputs from those that are elicited externally. This is one mechanism by which we achieve a subjective sense of agency over our actions. Corollary discharge (CD) signals-"copies" of motor signals sent to sensory areas-permit such predictions, and CD abnorma...
Preprint
Full-text available
Plasticity in the oculomotor system ensures that saccadic eye movements reliably meet their visual goals—to bring regions of interest into foveal, high-acuity vision. Here, we present a comprehensive description of sensorimotor learning in saccades. We induced continuous adaptation of saccade amplitudes using a double-step paradigm, in which partic...
Article
Full-text available
With each saccade, visual objects cause motion streaks across the retina in the direction opposite of the movement. In the absence of pre- and post-saccadic stimulation, these intra-saccadic motion streaks are often visible. The investigation of their phenomenology provides the opportunity to assess how the visual system integrates retinal and eye...
Article
Transmission delays in the nervous system pose challenges for the accurate localization of moving objects as the brain must rely on outdated information to determine their position in space. Acting effectively in the present requires that the brain compensates not only for the time lost in the transmission and processing of sensory information, but...
Article
Saccadic eye movements prioritize the memory of visual stimuli that had previously been seen at the saccade target. In two experiments, we assessed whether this influence is limited to fragile memory traces or if saccades can also affect consolidated representations in visuospatial working memory (VSWM). To interfere with fragile memory traces, we...
Article
Saccades rapidly jerk the eye into new positions, yet we rarely experience the motion streaks imposed on the retinal image. Here we examined spatial and temporal properties of post-saccadic masking-one potential explanation of this perceptual omission. Observers judged the motion direction of a target stimulus, a Gaussian blob, that moved verticall...
Article
Traditional perceptual learning protocols rely almost exclusively on long periods of uninterrupted fixation. Taking a first step towards understanding perceptual learning in natural vision, we had observers report the orientation of a briefly flashed stimulus (clockwise or counterclockwise from a reference orientation) presented strictly during sac...
Article
Full-text available
Saccadic eye movements cause a rapid sweep of the visual image across the retina and bring the saccade's target into high-acuity foveal vision. Even before saccade onset, visual processing is selectively prioritized at the saccade target. To determine how this presaccadic attention shift exerts its influence on visual selection, we compare the dyna...
Article
Full-text available
Saccades shift objects across the retina at high velocities, yet we never perceive the blurred motion streaks that any object in the scene should cause. It is widely assumed that intra-saccadic motion signals are suppressed to preserve stable perception of the world. Using a projection system with sub-millisecond temporal resolution, we investigate...
Article
Visual processing and visual perception are both thought to be tremendously depleted during saccadic eye movements. Using a projection system with sub-millisecond temporal resolution we rendered stimuli briefly visible during saccades and tested whether intra-saccadic localisation depends on retina-centered (retinotopic) or world-centered (spatioto...
Article
During saccadic eye movements, objects routinely move across the retina at high speeds but we hardly ever see motion. Here, we present data suggesting that the upper threshold for conscious retinal motion perception may in fact be set specifically to eliminate velocities created by saccades. Using a high-speed projection system with sub-millisecond...
Article
Full-text available
The tight link of saccades to covert spatial attention has been firmly established, yet their relation to other forms of visual selection remains poorly understood. Here we studied the temporal dynamics of feature-based attention (FBA) during fixation and across saccades. Participants reported the orientation (on a continuous scale) of one of two s...
Poster
Full-text available
We examined different mechanisms of feature-based attention in visual short-term memory. We tested two accounts of the retro-cue effect: first if the retro-cue protects the representation in memory from degradation and if it protects it from visual interference.
Article
Psychosis - an impaired contact with reality - is a hallmark of schizophrenia. Many psychotic symptoms are associated with disruptions in agency - the sense that 'I' cause my actions. A failure to predict sensory consequences of one's own actions may underlie agency disturbances. Such predictions rely on corollary discharge (CD) signals, 'copies' o...
Article
Background: A subjective sense of agency over actions is thought to arise from a match between the predicted and actual sensory consequences of a movement command. A failure to appropriately generate or utilize such predictions is argued to give rise to the agency disturbances that characterize psychosis. A likely mechanism of such predictions are...
Article
Using fixations as the fundamental unit of visual search is an appealing gear change in a paradigm that has long dominated attention research. To truly inform theories of search, however, additional challenges must be faced, including (1) an empirically motivated definition of fixation in the presence of fixational saccades and (2) the biases and l...
Article
Understanding how humans perceive cause and effect in visual events has long intrigued philosophers and scientists. A new study in primates reveals the neural correlates of perceived causality at the single-cell level, but in an unexpected place — the motor system.
Article
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is a crucial repository of information when events unfold rapidly before our eyes, yet it maintains only a fraction of the sensory information encoded by the visual system. Here, we tested the hypothesis that saccadic eye movements provide a natural bottleneck for the transition of fragile content in sensory memory t...
Article
We assessed the dynamics of changes in the metrics of saccades in response to time-varying disturbances of visual feedback. Observers made naturally paced saccades in adapting blocks of 600 target steps with fixed amplitude of 8 degrees either in horizontal or unconstrained directions. During each saccade, the intra-saccadic shift (ISS)—following a...
Article
Many everyday tasks require the active prioritisation of one feature among competing ones, both during the selection from the rich sensory input and in visual short-term memory (VSTM) when the relevant information has disappeared from view. Here, we address whether we can change priorities in VSTM when, initially, we attended to a different set of...
Article
With each visual fixation, a vast amount of information enters the visual system, only part of which will be stored durably in visual short-term memory (VSTM). We present four experiments testing the hypothesis that saccadic eye movements decide upon the content of VSTM, and determine naturally what we remember and what we forget. We studied whethe...