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Maarten Demeyer, Peter De Graef, Johan Wagemans, Karl Verfaillie; Transsaccadic identification of highly similar artificial shapes. Journal of Vision 2009;9(4):28. doi: 10.1167/9.4.28.
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Multiple times per second, the visual system succeeds in making a seamless transition between presaccadic and postsaccadic perception. The nature of the transsaccadic representation needed to support this was commonly thought to be sparse and abstract. However, recent studies have suggested that detailed visual information is transferred across saccades as well. Here, we seek to confirm that preview effects of visual detail on postsaccadic perception do indeed occur. We presented subjects with highly similar artificial shapes, preceded by a congruent, an incongruent, or no preview. Postsaccadic recognition performance was measured, while the contrast of presaccadic and postsaccadic stimuli was manipulated independently. The results show that congruent previews provided a benefit to the recognition performance of postsaccadic stimuli, compared to no-preview conditions. Incongruent previews induced a recognition accuracy cost, combined with a recognition speed benefit. A second experiment showed that these effects can disappear when stimulus presentation is interrupted with a postsaccadic visual mask. We conclude that visual detail contained in transsaccadic memory can affect the postsaccadic percept. Furthermore, we find that the transsaccadic representation supporting this process is contrast-independent, but that postsaccadic contrast, through its effect on the reliability of information, can affect the degree to which it is employed.
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