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Laura Mikula, Marilyn Jacob, Trang Tran, Laure Pisella, Aarlenne Z. Khan; Spatial and temporal dynamics of presaccadic attentional facilitation before pro- and antisaccades. Journal of Vision 2018;18(11):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.11.2.
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The premotor theory of attention and the visual attention model make different predictions about the temporal and spatial allocation of presaccadic attentional facilitation. The current experiment investigated the spatial and temporal dynamics of presaccadic attentional facilitation during pro- and antisaccade planning; we investigated whether attention shifts only to the saccade goal location or to the target location or elsewhere, and when. Participants performed a dual-task paradigm with blocks of either anti- or prosaccades and also discriminated symbols appearing at different locations before saccade onset (measure of attentional allocation). In prosaccades blocks, correct prosaccade discrimination was best at the target location, while during errors, discrimination was best at the location opposite to the target location. This pattern was inversed in antisaccades blocks, although discrimination remained high opposite to the target location. In addition, we took the benefit of a large range of saccadic landing positions and showed that performance across both types of saccades was best at the actual saccade goal location (where the eye will actually land) rather than at the instructed position. Finally, temporal analyses showed that discrimination remained highest at the saccade goal location, from long before to closer to saccade onset, increasing slightly for antisaccades closer to saccade onset. These findings are in line with the premises of the premotor theory of attention, showing that attentional allocation is primarily linked both temporally and spatially to the saccade goal location.
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