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Spatial and Temporal Effects of Spatial Attention on Human Saccadic Eye Movements.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date02/1992
JournalVision Research
Journal number2
Volume32
Number of pages12
Pages293-304
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

A spatial cueing paradigm was used to (a) ~vestigate the eflects of attentional orienting on spatial and temporal parameters of saccadic eye movements and (b) examine hypotheses regarding the &erurchical programing of saccaa% direction and amplitude. On a given trial, the subjects were presented with one of three peripheral cues: a “valid” cue provided correct information, a “neutral” cue no information and an “invalid” cue incorrect information about the location of the subsequent target (the cue was valid on about 50% of the trials). 100 or 5OOmsec after the cue onset (stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA), the eye movement target was presented at one of six possible locations (from - 11.25” to + I1.25O, at 3.15” spacing). The results showed a significant egect of cueing on saccade luten~ies at the IOOmsec, but no eflect at the 5OOmsec SOA. The cueing bene~ts were restricted to the cued location; no other locations within the cued or uncued hemi-meld were fa&ilitated. The invalid trial latencies showed: (a) no advantage for targets on the same side as the cue relative to the opposite side, (b) no advantage for targets more proximal to the cue and (c) no advantage for targets sharing the same eccentricity as the cue. In a second experiment, subjects responded to the target by giving a simple manual response [simple reaction time (RT)] while keeping the eyes stationary. The results showed a significant cueing e#ect on simple RTs both at the IOOmsec and, in contrast to saccadic eye movements, the 5OOmsec SOA. There were spect$c benefits for targets at the cued location relative to other targets within the same and opposite hemi-cell. Further, in contrast to saccades, there was a general advantage for targets within the same (‘%ued”) hemi-$eld over targets in the opposite hem&field. These$ndings suggest that, for saccadic eye movements (overt orienting), direction and amplitude are programmed holistically; whereas in covert orienting (with eyes stationary), motor parameters (e.g. for directed hand movements) are programmed in a more hierarchical fashion.