Behavioral plasticity of antisaccade performance following daily practice
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The ability to change behavior to adapt to the environment, known as behavioral plasticity, is an important part of daily life. In the present study subjects’ performances on antisaccade tasks were manipulated by training them on one of three different eye movement tasks (antisaccade, prosaccade, and fixation). Thirty subjects were tested at three time points over a 2-week period and practiced their assigned task every day between test sessions. Subjects who trained on antisaccades significantly decreased their error rates, while maintaining their reaction time, suggesting that accuracy did not improve at the expense of speed. Subjects who practiced the prosaccade task made more errors on the antisaccade task on subsequent test sessions, while those who practiced the fixation task showed no change across test sessions. These results suggest that deliberate practice of eye movement tasks can alter antisaccade performance, and that the direction of the effect is dependent upon the type of practice in which the subject engages.
KeywordsAntisaccade Prosaccade Fixation Plasticity Practice effects
This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH01852). We thank Jamie Calhoun for her help in data collection and scoring.