Frens M A, van der Geest J N, Hooge I T C, 2000, "Inhibition of saccade return" Perception 29 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Inhibition of saccade return
M A Frens, J N van der Geest, I T C Hooge
Tasks such as reading or visual search consist of series of saccades. We have investigated to what extent saccades that are made within a series of self-paced movements are influenced by preceding movements. Here we present an analysis of the duration of the fixations that precede saccades.
We found that fixations before so-called 'return saccades' (saccades returning to the previously fixated position) are considerably longer (up to 40%) than other fixations. We have called this phenomenon 'inhibition of saccade return' (ISR) in analogy to 'inhibition of return' (IOR) of covert shifts of spatial attention. ISR is present when return and regular saccades are mixed in one trial, and seems to be reset after each saccade. The effect is strongest at the previously fixated target, and decreases gradually from there in a radial fashion. The radius of the area where ISR is found is about 4 deg. By studying responses to moving targets we found that ISR is encoded in head-fixed rather than in retinal coordinates.
ISR can be seen as a low-level short-term memory for locations already fixated. We discuss the relation between ISR and IOR (are they manifestations of the same phenomenon?), as well as the neurophysiological basis of ISR.
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