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Visual attention is available at a task-relevant location rapidly after a saccade

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Maintaining attention at a task-relevant spatial location while making eye-movements necessitates a rapid, saccade-synchronized shift of attentional modulation from the neuronal population representing the task-relevant location before the saccade to the one representing it after the saccade. Currently, the precise time at which spatial attention becomes fully allocated to the task-relevant location after the saccade remains unclear. Using a fine-grained temporal analysis of human peri-saccadic detection performance in an attention task, we show that spatial attention is fully available at the task-relevant location within 30 milliseconds after the saccade. Subjects tracked the attentional target veridically throughout our task: i.e. they almost never responded to non-target stimuli. Spatial attention and saccadic processing therefore co-ordinate well to ensure that relevant locations are attentionally enhanced soon after the beginning of each eye fixation.

Doi:: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.001

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Task-design and timing.Human subjects performed a task that involved attending to a target (marked with a white T and always at the same location) presented as one among four (A) or six (B) moving RDPs while also making a visually guided saccade if the fixation point jumped seven degrees to the right (1235 ms after trial onset). The subjects were instructed to respond with a key-press when the target RDP briefly changed speed and direction, but to ignore similar changes in any of the remaining RDPs. Target and distractor changes occurred at different times around the saccade, enabling the measurement of peri-saccadic performance in this attention task. Two different task-difficulties were used in Experiment 2, while six RDPs were used in Experiment 3 instead of four. There were also minor differences in timing between the three tasks.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.003
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fig1: Task-design and timing.Human subjects performed a task that involved attending to a target (marked with a white T and always at the same location) presented as one among four (A) or six (B) moving RDPs while also making a visually guided saccade if the fixation point jumped seven degrees to the right (1235 ms after trial onset). The subjects were instructed to respond with a key-press when the target RDP briefly changed speed and direction, but to ignore similar changes in any of the remaining RDPs. Target and distractor changes occurred at different times around the saccade, enabling the measurement of peri-saccadic performance in this attention task. Two different task-difficulties were used in Experiment 2, while six RDPs were used in Experiment 3 instead of four. There were also minor differences in timing between the three tasks.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.003

Mentions: We measured human peri-saccadic attentional allocation by combining an endogenous spatial attention task with a visually-guided saccade. Human subjects had to make a saccade to follow a fixation point when it jumped to a new location, and concurrently, pay attention throughout the trial to a target moving random-dot pattern (RDP) presented eccentrically among three or five physically similar distractor RDPs (Figure 1, and 'Materials and methods'). We measured the subjects’ attentional allocation by their ability to detect a brief (23.5 ms) change in target motion, while ignoring similar changes in the distractors. The target and distractor changes occurred at different times around the saccade, allowing us to report for the first time, peri-saccadic performance in an attention task with fine-grained temporal precision. The intervening saccade poses a challenge for the attentional system, because due to the retinotopic shift of the target location across the saccade, the attentional system needs to shift its modulatory influence from the neuronal population representing the target before the saccade to the neuronal population representing the target after the saccade. By using a fixed timing and location for the fixation point jump, we could isolate the dynamics of this attentional remapping process and minimize its interaction with the dynamics of attentional allocation to other exogenous visual events. We therefore made the saccade spatially and temporally predictable by having the fixation point jump at the same time and to the same location on each trial so that the subject could best focus on the target pattern.10.7554/eLife.18009.003Figure 1.Task-design and timing.


Visual attention is available at a task-relevant location rapidly after a saccade
Task-design and timing.Human subjects performed a task that involved attending to a target (marked with a white T and always at the same location) presented as one among four (A) or six (B) moving RDPs while also making a visually guided saccade if the fixation point jumped seven degrees to the right (1235 ms after trial onset). The subjects were instructed to respond with a key-press when the target RDP briefly changed speed and direction, but to ignore similar changes in any of the remaining RDPs. Target and distractor changes occurred at different times around the saccade, enabling the measurement of peri-saccadic performance in this attention task. Two different task-difficulties were used in Experiment 2, while six RDPs were used in Experiment 3 instead of four. There were also minor differences in timing between the three tasks.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.003
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5120882&req=5

fig1: Task-design and timing.Human subjects performed a task that involved attending to a target (marked with a white T and always at the same location) presented as one among four (A) or six (B) moving RDPs while also making a visually guided saccade if the fixation point jumped seven degrees to the right (1235 ms after trial onset). The subjects were instructed to respond with a key-press when the target RDP briefly changed speed and direction, but to ignore similar changes in any of the remaining RDPs. Target and distractor changes occurred at different times around the saccade, enabling the measurement of peri-saccadic performance in this attention task. Two different task-difficulties were used in Experiment 2, while six RDPs were used in Experiment 3 instead of four. There were also minor differences in timing between the three tasks.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.003
Mentions: We measured human peri-saccadic attentional allocation by combining an endogenous spatial attention task with a visually-guided saccade. Human subjects had to make a saccade to follow a fixation point when it jumped to a new location, and concurrently, pay attention throughout the trial to a target moving random-dot pattern (RDP) presented eccentrically among three or five physically similar distractor RDPs (Figure 1, and 'Materials and methods'). We measured the subjects’ attentional allocation by their ability to detect a brief (23.5 ms) change in target motion, while ignoring similar changes in the distractors. The target and distractor changes occurred at different times around the saccade, allowing us to report for the first time, peri-saccadic performance in an attention task with fine-grained temporal precision. The intervening saccade poses a challenge for the attentional system, because due to the retinotopic shift of the target location across the saccade, the attentional system needs to shift its modulatory influence from the neuronal population representing the target before the saccade to the neuronal population representing the target after the saccade. By using a fixed timing and location for the fixation point jump, we could isolate the dynamics of this attentional remapping process and minimize its interaction with the dynamics of attentional allocation to other exogenous visual events. We therefore made the saccade spatially and temporally predictable by having the fixation point jump at the same time and to the same location on each trial so that the subject could best focus on the target pattern.10.7554/eLife.18009.003Figure 1.Task-design and timing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Maintaining attention at a task-relevant spatial location while making eye-movements necessitates a rapid, saccade-synchronized shift of attentional modulation from the neuronal population representing the task-relevant location before the saccade to the one representing it after the saccade. Currently, the precise time at which spatial attention becomes fully allocated to the task-relevant location after the saccade remains unclear. Using a fine-grained temporal analysis of human peri-saccadic detection performance in an attention task, we show that spatial attention is fully available at the task-relevant location within 30 milliseconds after the saccade. Subjects tracked the attentional target veridically throughout our task: i.e. they almost never responded to non-target stimuli. Spatial attention and saccadic processing therefore co-ordinate well to ensure that relevant locations are attentionally enhanced soon after the beginning of each eye fixation.

Doi:: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.001

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus