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Thérèse Collins; Extraretinal signal metrics in multiple-saccade sequences. Journal of Vision 2010;10(14):7. doi: 10.1167/10.14.7.
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Executing sequences of memory-guided movements requires combining sensory information with information about previously made movements. In the oculomotor system, extraretinal information must be combined with stored visual information about target location. The use of extraretinal signals in oculomotor planning can be probed in the double-step task. Using this task and a multiple-step version, the present study examined whether an extraretinal signal was used on every trial, whether its metrics represented desired or actual eye displacement, and whether it was best characterized as a direct estimate of orbital eye position or a vector representation of eye displacement. The results show that accurate information, including saccadic adaptation, about the first saccade is used to plan the second saccade. Furthermore, with multiple saccades, endpoint variability increases with the number of saccades. Controls ruled out that this was due to the perceptual or memory requirements of storing several target locations. Instead, each memory-guided movement depends on an internal copy of an executed movement, which may present a small discrepancy with the actual movement. Increasing the number of estimates increases the variability because this small discrepancy accumulates over several saccades. Such accumulation is compatible with a corollary discharge signal carrying metric information about saccade vectors.
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