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Rinat Hilo-Merkovich, Shlomit Yuval-Greenberg; The coordinate system of endogenous spatial attention during smooth pursuit. Journal of Vision 2020;20(7):26. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.7.26.
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A central question in vision is whether spatial attention is represented in an eye-centered (retinotopic) or world-centered (spatiotopic) reference-frame. Most previous studies on this question focused on how coordinates are modulated across saccades. In the present study, we investigated the reference-frame of attention across smooth pursuit eye-movements using a goal-directed saccade task. In two experiments, participants were asked to pursue a moving target while attending to one or two grating stimuli. On each trial, one stimulus was constant in its retinal position and the other was constant in its spatial position. Upon detection of a slight change in stimulus orientation, participants were asked to stop pursuing and perform a fast saccade toward the modified stimulus. In the focused attention condition, they attended one, predefined, stimulus, and in the divided attention condition they attended both. In Experiment 1 the angle of the orientation change marking the target event was constant across participants and conditions. In Experiment 2, the angle was individually adapted to equate performance across participants and conditions. Findings of the two experiments were consistent and showed that the enhancement of mean visual sensitivity in the focused relative to the divided attention condition was similar in magnitude for both retinotopic and spatiotopic targets. This indicates that during smooth pursuit, endogenous attention was proportionally divided between targets in retinotopic and spatiotopic frames of reference.
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