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Michael Puntiroli, Dirk Kerzel, Sabine Born, Heiner Deubel, Martin Szinte; Malleable pre-saccadic shift of attention. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):1046. doi: 10.1167/16.12.1046.
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When preparing a saccade, attentional resources are deployed towards the saccade target, but do not spread towards surrounding locations. Here we show that such binding of pre-saccadic attention with the saccade target location only holds when eye movements are prepared towards an object still present, but not towards a recently extinguished one. In our study, participants made 10 degree saccades toward an object that could either remain present or get extinguished before the onset of the saccade. We obtained detailed maps of pre-saccadic shifts of attention to the saccade target and its surrounds. We observed that when saccades were prepared towards an object currently present, attention was concentrated within a ~2 degree-radius around the object. However, when saccades were prepared towards an object that extinguished shortly before the saccade (~500 ms), although eye movements remained highly precise, attention was reduced at the saccade target. Interestingly, when saccades were prepared towards an object that disappeared long before the eyes moved (~900 ms), attention spread to locations further away (within a ~5 degree-radius) from the memorized object. Our findings therefore suggest that the pre-saccadic shift of attention is a highly malleable process, bound to he saccade target only when a structured visual field can funnel it.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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