A pipeline mechanism supporting visual exploration and reading

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We saccade every ~250 ms during visual exploration and reading. Given that it takes ~100 ms to prepare and execute a saccade, the visual system has less than 150 ms to identify the fixated object (or word) while also partaking in preparing the next saccade goal. We propose that neuronal computations in the ventral stream are supported by a pipelining mechanism in which serial processing of several objects (or words) occurs at each level in the visual hierarchy while parallel processing occurs across these levels. Alpha oscillations serve to coordinate this processing as well as saccade initiations. We have investigated this framework by acquiring MEG and eye-tracking data from participants performing free viewing and reading tasks. A recent innovation – rapid invisible frequency tagging – as well as multivariate pattern analysis, have helped us to provide support for the proposed pipelining mechanism.
Pan, Y., Popov, T., Frisson, S., and Jensen, O. (2022) Saccades are locked to the phase of alpha oscillations during natural reading. bioRxiv
Jensen, O., Frisson, S., Pan, Y., and Wang, L. (2021) A pipelining mechanism supporting previewing during visual exploration and reading. Trends in Cogn Sci 25:103301044.
Pan, Y., Frisson, S., and Jensen, O. (2021) Neural evidence for lexical parafoveal processing. Nature Communications 12:5234.