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Michael Puntiroli, Dirk Kerzel, Sabine Born; Remapped and Captured Pre-Saccadic Attention Produces Perceptual Facilitation at Non-target Locations. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1229. doi: 10.1167/14.10.1229.
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An important question in the field of visual attention is how attentional resources are distributed over space and objects prior to saccades. Literature agrees that saccades are tightly linked to attention. Even when saccades are erroneously directed at a distractor location, there is evidence that this location is visited by pre-saccadic covert attention (Peterson, Kramer & Irwin, 2004). However, the conclusion was based on a counter-intuitive negative compatibility effect in reaction times. Our goal was to better understand the allocation of attention in an oculomotor capture paradigm for straight-to-target saccades and for capture saccades that are followed by corrective saccades to the target. In contrast to classic oculomotor capture studies, we measured the deployment of attention not through reaction time differences, but through perceptual discrimination performance. A dual-task was employed requiring saccades towards a shape singleton target, in the presence of a color singleton distractor. The secondary task was to discriminate an asymmetric cross presented in one of six possible locations (including target and distractor locations). We found perceptual facilitation effects at the target location for straight-to-target saccades, and at the distractor location when oculomotor capture occurred. Thus, in contrast to Peterson et al. (2004), we observed a positive effect of attention at the distractor location. Interestingly, facilitation effects at the target location decreased when the eye had been captured by the distractor. This was especially true when the eyes dwelled long on the distractor before the corrective saccade to the target was launched. Furthermore, we found increased perceptual discrimination at a non-target location during capture trials, which, in line with recent findings by Rolfs et al. (2011), coincided with the remapped location of the saccade target. Results are discussed in terms of temporal and spatial facilitation, parallel programming of saccades and the cross-saccadic maintenance of attention on target objects.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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