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Arvid Herwig, Miriam Beisert, Werner X. Schneider; On the spatial interaction of visual working memory and attention: Evidence for a global effect from memory-guided saccades. Journal of Vision 2010;10(5):8. doi: 10.1167/10.5.8.
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Recent work indicates that covert visual attention and eye movements on the one hand, and covert visual attention and visual working memory on the other hand are closely interrelated. Two experiments address the question whether all three processes draw on the same spatial representations. Participants had to memorize a target location for a subsequent memory-guided saccade. During the memory interval, task-irrelevant distractors were briefly flashed on some trials either near or remote to the memory target. Results showed that the previously flashed distractors attract the saccade's landing position. However, attraction was only found, if the distractor was presented within a sector of ±20° around the target axis, but not if the distractor was presented outside this sector. This effect strongly resembles the global effect in which saccades are directed to intermediate locations between a target and a simultaneously presented neighboring distractor stimulus. It is argued that covert visual attention, eye movements, and visual working memory recruit the same spatial mechanisms that can probably be ascribed to attentional priority maps.
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