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

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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.


Rapid post-saccadic performance recovery is independent of saccade latency.The time-course of recovery was indistinguishable for saccades in three different latency ranges in the same dataset used in Figure 2A (8 subjects, color coding in inset): 0–75 ms (predictive saccades), 75–125 ms (express saccades), 125–250 ms (regular-latency saccades). The inset plots the pooled saccade latency distribution. Figure conventions as in Figure 2A, except that non-overlapping 50 ms time-bins were used.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.01510.7554/eLife.18009.016Figure 3—source data 1.Data plotted in Figure 3.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.016
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fig3: Rapid post-saccadic performance recovery is independent of saccade latency.The time-course of recovery was indistinguishable for saccades in three different latency ranges in the same dataset used in Figure 2A (8 subjects, color coding in inset): 0–75 ms (predictive saccades), 75–125 ms (express saccades), 125–250 ms (regular-latency saccades). The inset plots the pooled saccade latency distribution. Figure conventions as in Figure 2A, except that non-overlapping 50 ms time-bins were used.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.01510.7554/eLife.18009.016Figure 3—source data 1.Data plotted in Figure 3.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.016

Mentions: It is possible that though we report a rapid recovery in Experiment 1, the true recovery was actually slower, but was masked by the fact that performance had already reached its maximum value of 100% within 30 ms of saccade offset. We therefore performed a similar experiment (Experiment 2) with two task difficulties, where peak performance on the harder task was clearly below 100% (Figure 2B). Once again, performance recovered to baseline levels within 30 ms of saccade offset in both the easier and the harder task, indicating that our estimate of a rapid recovery time for performance was genuine and not an artifact due to a ceiling effect. The recovery time-course after the saccade also did not seem to depend on saccade latency (Figure 3). Very similar performance was observed when we grouped trials based on saccade latency into three groups: putative predictive saccades (latencies from 0 to 75 ms), express saccades (latencies from 75 to 125 ms) and regular-latency saccades (latencies from 125 to 250 ms). This indicates that though various differences between these different kinds of saccades have been noted and these different kinds of saccades have been speculated to arise via different neural pathways (Bronstein and Kennard, 1987; Chen et al., 2013; Cotti et al., 2009; Deubel, 1995; Gaymard et al., 1998; Pierrot-Deseilligny et al., 2002; Shelhamer and Joiner, 2003), peri-saccadic attentional shifts seem to proceed with a similar time-course in each case.


Visual attention is available at a task-relevant location rapidly after a saccade
Rapid post-saccadic performance recovery is independent of saccade latency.The time-course of recovery was indistinguishable for saccades in three different latency ranges in the same dataset used in Figure 2A (8 subjects, color coding in inset): 0–75 ms (predictive saccades), 75–125 ms (express saccades), 125–250 ms (regular-latency saccades). The inset plots the pooled saccade latency distribution. Figure conventions as in Figure 2A, except that non-overlapping 50 ms time-bins were used.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.01510.7554/eLife.18009.016Figure 3—source data 1.Data plotted in Figure 3.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.016
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fig3: Rapid post-saccadic performance recovery is independent of saccade latency.The time-course of recovery was indistinguishable for saccades in three different latency ranges in the same dataset used in Figure 2A (8 subjects, color coding in inset): 0–75 ms (predictive saccades), 75–125 ms (express saccades), 125–250 ms (regular-latency saccades). The inset plots the pooled saccade latency distribution. Figure conventions as in Figure 2A, except that non-overlapping 50 ms time-bins were used.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.01510.7554/eLife.18009.016Figure 3—source data 1.Data plotted in Figure 3.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18009.016
Mentions: It is possible that though we report a rapid recovery in Experiment 1, the true recovery was actually slower, but was masked by the fact that performance had already reached its maximum value of 100% within 30 ms of saccade offset. We therefore performed a similar experiment (Experiment 2) with two task difficulties, where peak performance on the harder task was clearly below 100% (Figure 2B). Once again, performance recovered to baseline levels within 30 ms of saccade offset in both the easier and the harder task, indicating that our estimate of a rapid recovery time for performance was genuine and not an artifact due to a ceiling effect. The recovery time-course after the saccade also did not seem to depend on saccade latency (Figure 3). Very similar performance was observed when we grouped trials based on saccade latency into three groups: putative predictive saccades (latencies from 0 to 75 ms), express saccades (latencies from 75 to 125 ms) and regular-latency saccades (latencies from 125 to 250 ms). This indicates that though various differences between these different kinds of saccades have been noted and these different kinds of saccades have been speculated to arise via different neural pathways (Bronstein and Kennard, 1987; Chen et al., 2013; Cotti et al., 2009; Deubel, 1995; Gaymard et al., 1998; Pierrot-Deseilligny et al., 2002; Shelhamer and Joiner, 2003), peri-saccadic attentional shifts seem to proceed with a similar time-course in each case.

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.