Saccades are the minute lateral eye movements the eye makes that allow you to see. Since photoreceptor cells in the retina are activated by a change in the light, the eye must make these movements to keep these receptors firing and providing visual information to the primary visual cortex located in the occipital lobe of the brain.

                   thalamus    __
              ---        |     | \
           / \     \_____o_____|  \
           \ /     /           |__/
              --                    visual cortex
            eye         

Some monks who practice one point meditation have reported their vision temporarily blurring out when these movements stop.

Sac*cade" (?), n. [F.] Man.

A sudden, violent check of a horse by drawing or twitching the reins on a sudden and with one pull.

 

© Webster 1913.

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