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Jessica Goold, Wonil Choi, John Henderson; Cortical Control of Eye Movements in Natural Tasks. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):203. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.203.
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Natural active visual tasks require fine-grained management of saccadic eye movements. A critical question, therefore, involves how the brain controls eye movements in natural tasks and whether this control differs for different tasks. Neural correlates of eye movements have been found in multiple cortical regions, most prominently frontal eye fields (FEF), supplementary eye field (SEF), and intraparietal sulcus (IPS). However, most research investigating this network has focused on single-saccade tasks, and little is known about its role in natural settings. The present study investigated this issue using scene viewing, reading, and two control conditions. Participants in an MRI scanner with eye-tracking were presented with scene photographs, natural text paragraphs, pseudo-font paragraphs, and random-string paragraphs. Participants freely viewed the scenes, read naturally in the text condition, and moved their eyes as if they were reading in the two pseudo-reading conditions. Multi-voxel pattern analysis was used for fine-grained analysis of the fMRI signal in regions of the eye movement control network. We found that activation patterns in all regions of the network differentiated between natural reading and scene viewing and critically also differentiated between natural reading and the two pseudo-reading conditions. These results suggest that the eye movement network reflects more than simple saccade generation and are consistent with the hypothesis that the network encodes information about category and meaning consistent with the cognitive system with which is it interfacing.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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