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Nabil Filali-Sadouk, Eric Castet, Etienne Olivier, Alexandre Zenon; Similar effect of cueing conditions on attentional and saccadic temporal dynamics. Journal of Vision 2010;10(4):21. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/10.4.21.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Spatial attention permits to allocate more processing resources to a restricted portion of the visual space. The influential premotor theory states that the allocation of spatial attention relies on the same processes as those responsible for programming saccadic eye movements. Accordingly, several studies have already demonstrated a close spatial correspondence between attention and saccades. However, the question of the temporal coupling between attention displacements and saccades remains unclear. To address this issue, we compared the saccadic latencies to the temporal dynamics of attentional shifts under various cueing conditions known to affect attentional timing. In Experiment 1, we evaluated the effect of peripheral and central cues, and in Experiment 2, we assessed the influence of peripheral cues of different salience levels. We found that the different cue types had a similar effect on saccade latencies and on the dynamics of attentional shifts, either overt or covert. Moreover, even within a given cueing condition, attentional shift times were strongly correlated with saccadic latencies. These results indicate that, in agreement with the premotor theory, both spatial attention and saccades rely on a common process and that the allocation of spatial attention is tightly time-locked to saccade execution.
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