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Zampeta Kalogeropoulou, Martin Rolfs; Saccadic eye movements do not disrupt the deployment of feature-based attention. Journal of Vision 2017;17(8):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/17.8.4.
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The tight link of saccades to covert spatial attention has been firmly established, yet their relation to other forms of visual selection remains poorly understood. Here we studied the temporal dynamics of feature-based attention (FBA) during fixation and across saccades. Participants reported the orientation (on a continuous scale) of one of two sets of spatially interspersed Gabors (black or white). We tested performance at different intervals between the onset of a colored cue (black or white, indicating which stimulus was the most probable target; red: neutral condition) and the stimulus. FBA built up after cue onset: Benefits (errors for valid vs. neutral cues), costs (invalid vs. neutral), and the overall cueing effect (valid vs. invalid) increased with the cue–stimulus interval. Critically, we also tested visual performance at different intervals after a saccade, when FBA had been fully deployed before saccade initiation. Cueing effects were evident immediately after the saccade and were predicted most accurately and most precisely by fully deployed FBA, indicating that FBA was continuous throughout saccades. Finally, a decomposition of orientation reports into target reports and random guesses confirmed continuity of report precision and guess rates across the saccade. We discuss the role of FBA in perceptual continuity across saccades.
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