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Donatas Jonikaitis, Marc Päpper, Heiner Deubel; Evidence for the independence of pre-saccadic attentional shifts and voluntary attention. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):100. doi: 10.1167/11.11.100.
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We tested the allocation of attention in a task in which participants performed zero, one, or two saccadic eye movements, while voluntarily attending to a location in space. A discrimination target was presented at either the voluntarily attended location, at the saccade target, or at a movement-irrelevant location. Our results show that the perceptual performance at the different spatial locations was influenced by both, the direction of the saccade and the direction of the voluntary allocation of attention, and that these factors did not interact. In line with previous evidence, good performance was found if the discrimination target position coincided with the saccade target, as compared to movement-irrelevant locations, but voluntarily attending to the saccade target further added to this performance. While the findings illustrate that it is possible to allocate attention in a voluntary manner during the planning of saccades, they also argue for independence of the voluntary allocation of attention and the allocation of attention via saccades.
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