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Lukasz Grzeczkowski, Heiner Deubel; Trans-saccadic memory of orientation and form. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):737. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.737.
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The content and nature of transsaccadic memory (TSM) is still a matter of debate. While considerable evidence supports the view that TSM relies on visual short term memory (VSTM), the evidence backing a maskable, volatile spatiotopic visual buffer is sparse. Here, we present data supporting the latter. In the first study, we investigated the TSM of a visual feature, namely stimulus orientation as well as its potential luminance contrast dependency. Observers saccaded to a grating and discriminated an orientation change occurring during the eye movement. The post-saccadic grating was presented either with or without a 200 ms blank, and was either iso- or anisoluminant. With anisoluminant gratings we observed an improvement of discrimination with a blank, i.e., a blanking effect for orientation. Interestingly, the blanking did not bring benefit to the discrimination of the isoluminant gratings. In a second study, we examined whether blanking would also support TSM of stimulus form. Observers saccaded to a peripheral checkerboard-like stimulus and reported whether an intrasaccadic change had occurred in its upper or lower half. On 50% of the trials, the stimulus was blanked for 200 ms with saccade onset. Results show that stimulus blanking improved transsaccadic change discrimination. Moreover, they demonstrate that the blanking effect is spatiotopic (or object-based) and does not occur without a saccade. Our findings argue in favor of a remapped form of TSM having different characteristics than VSTM. We show that this TSM can be accessed via stimulus blanking or when the post-saccadic stimulus is weak (isoluminant).
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