Presaccadic attention interferes with feature detection
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Preparing a saccadic eye movement to a particular spatial location enhances the perception of visual targets at this location and decreases perception of nearby targets prior to movement onset. This effect has been termed the orientation of pre-saccadic attention. Here, we investigated whether pre-saccadic attention influenced the detection of a simple visual feature—a process that has been hypothesized to occur without the need for attention. Participants prepared a saccade to a cued location and detected the occurrence of a “pop-out” feature embedded in distracters at the same or different location. The results show that preparing a saccade to a given location decreased detection of features at non-aimed-for locations, suggesting that the selection of a location as the next saccade endpoint influences sensitivity to basic visual features across the visual field.
KeywordsSaccade Visual perception Attention
T.C. was supported by an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship. The authors thank Sybille Röper and Jonathan Schubert for help with participants.
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