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André Krügel, Lars Rothkegel, Ralf Engbert; No exception from Bayes’ rule: The presence and absence of the range effect for saccades explained. Journal of Vision 2020;20(7):15. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.7.15.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In an influential theoretical model, human sensorimotor control is achieved by a Bayesian decision process, which combines noisy sensory information and learned prior knowledge. A ubiquitous signature of prior knowledge and Bayesian integration in human perception and motor behavior is the frequently observed bias toward an average stimulus magnitude (i.e., a central-tendency bias, range effect, regression-to-the-mean effect). However, in the domain of eye movements, there is a recent controversy about the fundamental existence of a range effect in the saccadic system. Here we argue that the problem of the existence of a range effect is linked to the availability of prior knowledge for saccade control. We present results from two prosaccade experiments that both employ an informative prior structure (i.e., a nonuniform Gaussian distribution of saccade target distances). Our results demonstrate the validity of Bayesian integration in saccade control, which generates a range effect in saccades. According to Bayesian integration principles, the saccadic range effect depends on the availability of prior knowledge and varies in size as a function of the reliability of the prior and the sensory likelihood.
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