Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A rapid intermittent eye movement, as that which occurs when the eyes fix on one point after another in the visual field.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sudden jerking movement.
  • n. A rapid jerky movement of the eye (voluntary or involuntary) from one focus to another.
  • n. The act of checking a horse quickly with a single strong pull of the reins.
  • n. The sounding of two violin strings together by using a sudden strong pressure of the bow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the manège, a violent check of a horse by drawing or twitching the reins suddenly and with one pull.
  • n. In violin-playing, a firm pressure of the bow on the strings, which crowds them down so that two or three can be sounded at once.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a rapid, jerky movement of the eyes between positions of rest
  • n. an abrupt spasmodic movement

Etymologies

French, twitch, from Old French, from Old North French saqiuer, to pull, from sac, sack; see sac.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French saccade. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The brain sends instructions to the eyes, the eyes respond with movement (called a saccade).

    How photojournalism affects the brain

  • That can be attributed to something called a saccade—a fast movement of the eye that lasts between 20 and 200 milliseconds.

    You Being Beautiful

  • Nishigaki and Arai have turned to blind spot position and the so-called saccade response for their biometric.

    EurekAlert! - Breaking News

  • In the 'saccade' condition while foveating one of the sample dots the horizontal separation between the dots corresponded directly with eccentricity.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • For the 'saccade' (solid line with circles) condition, the eccentricity corresponded directly with the distance between the sample dots.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • In 'saccade' trials a 200 ms blank gap was introduced in order to speed up a saccade toward the first presented dot

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • The left panel represents a 'saccade' trial when an observer foveates the leftward dot and at the same time encodes the rightward dot by peripheral vision.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • The lower panels characterize neuronal populations responses to the visual stimuli in the 'saccade' (left) and the 'fixate' (right) conditions.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • The difference in the eccentricity-related size of the RFs taxed by the 'saccade' (solid line with circles) and 'fixate' (dashed line with asterisks) conditions, results in a divergent pattern of distance estimation bias. doi: 10.1371/journal. pone.0009918.g005

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • In the second condition the observers executed saccades that brought the sample dots onto the fovea ( 'saccade' trials).

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

Comments

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  • Interesting quote from Will Self, knitandpurl. I wonder where Will was when he saw this panorama of his life - or has he implicitly redefined saccade?

    June 12, 2013

  • Wiktionary's definition (n. music - The sounding of two violin strings together by using a sudden strong pressure of the bow) is in a way misleading. A saccade is not necessary for double stopping - if it were several serene examples of violin writing would become unbearable. Triple stopping is another thing, as it it impossible to achieve without this technique. The Brahms violin concerto affords many examples.

    June 12, 2013

  • "In the manège, a violent check of a horse by drawing or twitching the reins suddenly and with one pull."

    --Cent. Dict.

    August 14, 2012

  • "I gain the crest of the hill and there it is, falling away behind me, swags and ruches of greenery and brick, under the blue-painted ceiling of its recent conversion: New London, city of the toppermost property prices. I can see a golden drop of sunlight on the glans of the Swiss Re Tower (Lord Foster's phallus, commonly known as the Gherkin), and the inverted pool table of Battersea Power Station. I can see the Hampstead massif and the Telecom Tower. I can see my life, entire, in a single saccade."
    Psychogeography by Will Self, 31

    October 11, 2010

  • It is also used in music, to mean a rough and sudden movement of the violin bow that causes two or more strings to sound at once, while only bowing one I believe.
    Its function is to give energy to a passage.

    December 7, 2008

  • Derived from a French word for twitch, saccade is a typical occurence in visual perception — the eyes fixing on one point after another in the visual field. Humans and other animals do not look at a scene in a steady way. Instead, the eyes move around, locating interesting parts of the scene and building up a mental 'map' corresponding to the scene. (From ArtLex)

    June 4, 2008