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Sabine Born, Ulrich Ansorge, Dirk Kerzel; Feature-based effects in the coupling between attention and saccades. Journal of Vision 2012;12(11):27. doi: 10.1167/12.11.27.
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Previous research has demonstrated that prior to saccade execution visual attention is imperatively shifted towards the saccade target (e.g., Deubel & Schneider, 1996; Kowler, Anderson, Dosher, & Blaser, 1995). Typically, observers had to make a saccade according to an arrow cue and simultaneously perform a perceptual discrimination task either at the saccade endpoint or elsewhere on the screen. Discrimination performance was poor if the location of the saccade target (ST) and the discrimination target (DT) did not coincide. However, those experiments only investigated shifts of spatial attention. In the current experiments, we examined how feature-based attention is deployed before a saccade. In Experiment 1, we randomly varied the colors of the ST and DT. Results showed that discrimination performance was better when the DT was shown in the same color as the ST. This color congruency effect was slightly larger and more reliable when ST color was relevant and constant across trials (Experiment 2). We conclude that selection of a colored ST can induce display-wide facilitative processing of stimuli sharing this color. Results are discussed in terms of saccade programming and saccade selection, color priming in visual search, color cuing, and color-based top-down contingent attentional capture. We also discuss basic mechanisms of spatial- and feature-based attention and predictive remapping of visual information across saccades.
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