October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
Express saccades optimize reward rate in a saccade countermanding task
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Steven P. Errington
    Vanderbilt University
  • Jeffrey D. Schall
    Vanderbilt University
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  Supported by R01-MH55806, P30-EY08126, and by Robin and Richard Patton through the E. Bronson Ingram Chair in Neuroscience
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 121. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.121
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Steven P. Errington, Jeffrey D. Schall; Express saccades optimize reward rate in a saccade countermanding task. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):121. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.121.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Express saccades are commonly produced under predictable task conditions. Here we report the production of express saccades in a saccade countermanding task, where conditions strongly discourage express saccades. To perform this task, monkeys fixated a central spot whereupon after a variable time the central spot was extinguished and a peripheral target appeared simultaneously at one of two random locations on the left or right (no-stop trials). On ~30% of trials, after a variable delay, the central spot reappeared, instructing monkeys to cancel the planned saccade to the peripheral target (stop-signal trials). Monkeys were rewarded with juice for generating saccades to targets on no-stop trials and for maintaining fixation on stop signal trials. Saccade latencies in this task are notably longer than values obtained in a simple reaction time task because the monkeys adapt to the stop signal by slowing performance. However, we observed some monkeys producing saccades with response times <100 ms. Indeed, we observed bimodal distributions of saccadic latencies, characteristic of express and regular saccades. Simulations revealed that reward rate can be optimized by varying the proportion of express saccades made within a session. The monkeys exploited this opportunity. When production of express saccades was not rewarded, monkeys made significantly fewer. This study highlights the many ways in which cognitive control of visually guided gaze behavior can exploit niches of opportunity.


This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.