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Mackenzie Glaholt, Eyal Reingold; Attentional modulation of saccadic inhibition during scene viewing. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):1001. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/12.9.1001.
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Participants viewed eight-item arrays containing colour photographs from two categories of scenes. Four of the eight photos depicted natural landscapes (Nature scenes) and the other four depicted urban environments (Building scenes). Participants were instructed to memorize scenes from one of the two categories (i.e., the relevant category) in preparation for a later recognition memory test. A gaze-contingent manipulation was employed such that while a scene was being fixated, the border around it flickered briefly from black to white with a random interval between flickers ranging from 400 – 600 ms. We computed the likelihood of a saccade being initiated in the period following the flicker. Consistent with prior research, we observed a saccadic inhibition effect with a minimum in saccadic activity occurring roughly 97 ms following the flicker. Importantly, the saccadic inhibition effect was stronger in magnitude and duration when the eye was fixated on a relevant scene compared to an irrelevant scene. This finding corroborates and extends prior research on the relationship between saccadic inhibition and attention in reading, and demonstrates that the saccadic inhibition effect can provide an index of the deployment of attention during scene viewing. Implications of these findings for theories of attention and oculomotor control are discussed.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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