, Volume 180, Issue 4, pp 609-628
Date: 16 Feb 2007

Visual memory capacity in transsaccadic integration

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Abstract

How we perceive the visual world as stable and unified suggests the existence of transsaccadic integration that retains and integrates visual information from one eye fixation to another eye fixation across saccadic eye movements. However, the capacity of transsaccadic integration is still a subject of controversy. We tested our subjects’ memory capacity of two basic visual features, i.e. luminance (Experiment 1) and orientation (Experiment 2), both within a single fixation (i.e. visual working memory) and between separate fixations (i.e. transsaccadic memory). Experiment 2 was repeated, but attention allocation was manipulated using attentional cues at either the target or distracter (Experiment 3). Subjects were able to retain 3–4 objects in transsaccadic memory for luminance and orientation; errors generally increased as saccade size increased; and, subjects were more accurate when attention was allocated to the same location as the impending target. These results were modelled by inputting a noisy extra-retinal signal into an eye-centered feature map. Our results suggest that transsaccadic memory has a similar capacity for storing simple visual features as basic visual memory, but this capacity is dependent both on the metrics of the saccade and allocation of attention.