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Garry Kong, Lisa M. Kroell, Sebastian Schneegans, David Aagten-Murphy, Paul M. Bays; Transsaccadic integration relies on a limited memory resource. Journal of Vision 2021;21(5):24. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.5.24.
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Saccadic eye movements cause large-scale transformations of the image falling on the retina. Rather than starting visual processing anew after each saccade, the visual system combines post-saccadic information with visual input from before the saccade. Crucially, the relative contribution of each source of information is weighted according to its precision, consistent with principles of optimal integration. We reasoned that, if pre-saccadic input is maintained in a resource-limited store, such as visual working memory, its precision will depend on the number of items stored, as well as their attentional priority. Observers estimated the color of stimuli that changed imperceptibly during a saccade, and we examined where reports fell on the continuum between pre- and post-saccadic values. Bias toward the post-saccadic color increased with the set size of the pre-saccadic display, consistent with an increased weighting of the post-saccadic input as precision of the pre-saccadic representation declined. In a second experiment, we investigated if transsaccadic memory resources are preferentially allocated to attentionally prioritized items. An arrow cue indicated one pre-saccadic item as more likely to be chosen for report. As predicted, valid cues increased response precision and biased responses toward the pre-saccadic color. We conclude that transsaccadic integration relies on a limited memory resource that is flexibly distributed between pre-saccadic stimuli.
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