, Volume 215, Issue 1, pp 13-25
Date: 20 Sep 2011

Trans-saccadic processing of visual and motor planning during sequential eye movements

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Abstract

How the brain maintains perceptual continuity across eye movements that yield discontinuous snapshots of the world is still poorly understood. In this study, we adapted a framework from the dual-task paradigm, well suited to reveal bottlenecks in mental processing, to study how information is processed across sequential saccades. The pattern of RTs allowed us to distinguish among three forms of trans-saccadic processing (no trans-saccadic processing, trans-saccadic visual processing and trans-saccadic visual processing and saccade planning models). Using a cued double-step saccade task, we show that even though saccade execution is a processing bottleneck, limiting access to incoming visual information, partial visual and motor processing that occur prior to saccade execution is used to guide the next eye movement. These results provide insights into how the oculomotor system is designed to process information across multiple fixations that occur during natural scanning.