Saccadic reaction times (SRTs) of three human subjects were analyzed. The gap paradigm was used (i.e. fixation point offset precedes target onset) to obtain high proportions of express saccades (i.e. saccades of extremely short reaction times) in the SRT distributions.
In one set of experiments, the luminance of the (red) saccade target was varied from brighter to darker than the (green) background including an isoluminance condition. Express saccades were obtained in response to pure color contrast stimuli with about the same frequency and reaction time as to stimuli with both color and luminance contrast.
In a second experiment, the luminance contrast of a white target on a white background was lowered below 10%. Again the number of express saccades was not reduced.
Thus, in contrast to other perceptual phenomena the visual neural mechanisms underlying the generation of express saccades are not affected by isoluminance nor low contrast luminance.