The peripheral preview effect with faces: combined EEG and eye-tracking suggests multiple stages of trans-saccadic predictive and non-predictive processing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Christoph Huber-Huber
  • Antimo Buonocore
  • Olaf Dimigen
  • Clayton Hickey
  • D. Melcher

External organisations

  • University of Trento
  • Universitat Tubingen
  • Tuebingen University
  • Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin
  • Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC)


The world appears stable despite saccadic eye-movements. One possible explanation for this phenomenon is that the visual system predicts upcoming input across saccadic eye-movements based on peripheral preview of the saccadic target. We tested this idea using concurrent electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking. Participants made cued saccades to peripheral upright or inverted face stimuli that changed orientation (invalid preview) or maintained orientation (valid preview) while the saccade was completed. Experiment 1 demonstrated better discrimination performance and a reduced fixation-locked N170 component (fN170) with valid than with invalid preview, demonstrating integration of pre- and post-saccadic information. Moreover, the early fixation-related potentials (FRP) showed a preview face inversion effect suggesting that some pre-saccadic input was represented in the brain until around 170 ms post fixation-onset. Experiment 2 replicated Experiment 1 and manipulated the proportion of valid and invalid trials to test whether the preview effect reflects context-based prediction across trials. A whole-scalp Bayes factor analysis showed that this manipulation did not alter the fN170 preview effect but did influence the face inversion effect before the saccade. The pre-saccadic inversion effect declined earlier in the mostly invalid block than in the mostly valid block, which is consistent with the notion of pre-saccadic expectations. In addition, in both studies, we found strong evidence for an interaction between the pre-saccadic preview stimulus and the post-saccadic target as early as 50 ms (Experiment 2) or 90 ms (Experiment 1) into the new fixation. These findings suggest that visual stability may involve three temporal stages: prediction about the saccadic target, integration of pre-saccadic and post-saccadic information at around 50-90 ms post fixation onset, and post-saccadic facilitation of rapid categorization.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-362
Number of pages19
Early online date29 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019


  • EEG, Eye tracking, Fixation-related potentials (FRP), Prediction, Preview effect, Trans-saccadic perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas