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Tamara L. Watson, Markus Lappe; Fixation related shifts of perceptual localization counter to saccade direction. Journal of Vision 2019;19(13):18. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.13.18.
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Perisaccadic compression of the perceived location of flashed visual stimuli toward a saccade target occurs from about 50 ms before a saccade. Here we show that between 150 and 80 ms before a saccade, perceived locations are shifted toward the fixation point. To establish the cause of the “reverse” presaccadic perceptual distortion, participants completed several versions of a saccade task. After a cue to saccade, a probe bar stimulus was briefly presented within the saccade trajectory. In Experiment 1 participants made (a) overlap saccades with immediate return saccades, (b) overlap saccades, and (c) step saccades. In Experiment 2 participants made gap saccades in complete darkness. In Experiment 3 participants maintained fixation with the probe stimuli masked at various interstimulus intervals. Participants indicated the bar's location using a mouse cursor. In all conditions in Experiment 1 presaccadic compression was preceded by compression toward the initial fixation. In Experiment 2, saccadic compression was maintained but the preceding countercompression was not observed. Stimuli masked at fixation were not compressed. This suggests the two opposing compression effects are related to the act of executing an eye movement. They are also not caused by the requirement to make two sequential saccades ending at the initial fixation location and are not caused by continuous presence of the fixation markers. We propose that countercompression is related to fixation activity and is part of the sequence of motor preparations to execute a cued saccade.
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