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Brad C. Motter; Saccadic momentum and attentive control in V4 neurons during visual search. Journal of Vision 2018;18(11):16. doi: 10.1167/18.11.16.
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Saccadic momentum refers to the increased probability of making a saccade in a forward direction relative to the previous saccade. During visual search and free viewing conditions saccadic probability falls in a gradient from forward to backward directions. It has been considered to reflect an oculomotor bias for a continuing motor plan. Here we report that a saccadic momentum gradient is observed in nonhuman primate behavior and in the visual responses of cortical area V4 neurons during a conjunction style visual search task. This result suggests that saccadic momentum arises in part from a biased spatial distribution of visual responses to stimuli. The effect is independent of feature-based selective attention and overridden by directed spatial attention. The implications of saccadic momentum for search guidance are much broader and robust than the inhibition-of-return's presumed role in preventing refixation of recent locations.
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