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Julie Ouerfelli-Ethier, Isabella Comtois Bona, Romain Fournet, Laure Pisella, Aarlenne Z. Khan; Pre-saccadic attention relies more on suppression than does covert attention. Journal of Vision 2023;23(1):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.23.1.1.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
During covert and pre-saccadic attentional shifts, it is unclear how facilitation and suppression processes interact for target selection. A recent countermanding task pointed to greater suppression at unattended locations during trials with saccades compared to trials without saccades (i.e., fixation and successful stop trials), whereas target facilitation did not differ. It is unknown whether this finding is restricted to countermanding paradigms that involve inhibitory processes. To test this, we adapted Gaspelin and colleagues (2015)’s attention capture task where, within the same block, one location was primed with frequent line discrimination trials, and all locations were occasionally probed using letters report trials. Participants also performed a baseline condition without priming. We tested 15 participants and examined how performance at non-primed locations was affected by covert versus pre-saccadic attention in blocks of four or six items, as well as by position from the primed location and timing from saccade onset. For both attention conditions, letter report at non-primed locations was worse compared to baseline, demonstrating suppression, and letter report at primed location was better, demonstrating facilitation. In saccades trials, letter report was better at primed locations and worse at non-primed locations compared to fixation trials. The timing of this additional pre-saccadic suppression differed from saccadic suppression. In both attention conditions, suppression was greater when primed and non-primed locations were within the same hemifield or in diagonal opposite quadrants. These results confirmed that attention preceding saccade execution suppressed non-primed locations to a larger extent than covert attention, with the same spatial quadrant effect.
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