Psychological Research

, Volume 69, Issue 1–2, pp 67–76 | Cite as

Attentional selection during preparation of eye movements

  • Karine Doré-Mazars
  • Pierre Pouget
  • Cécile Beauvillain
Original Article


Two experiments were conducted to examine the relationship between visual attention and saccade programming. Participants had to saccade to a letter string and detect a letter change presented briefly before the saccade onset. Hit probability (i.e., correct detection of a letter change in different positions) was taken as a measure of visual attention focus. The first experiment shows that hit probability depends on the actual landing position. These findings argue for a spatial coupling between saccade programming and the orienting of attention. Also, an unfamiliar letter cluster at the beginning captures attention and prevails over the influence of the saccade in preparation. Experiment 2, in which the letter change occurred at different times during the saccade latency, shows that attention shifts and focuses on the saccade target at the expense of the other parts of the stimulus when the motor program is ready to be executed. The theoretical implications of these results are discussed.


Letter String Saccade Latency Saccade Target Landing Position Saccade Goal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by grant 5973272 from the Institut National de la Recherche et de la Sécurité. Experiment 2 is part of P. Pouget’s ongoing doctoral thesis at the Université René Descartes Paris 5. We thank Heiner Deubel, Keith Rayner and Thérèse Collins for helpful comments on an earlier version of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karine Doré-Mazars
    • 1
  • Pierre Pouget
    • 1
  • Cécile Beauvillain
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Psychologie ExpérimentaleUMR 8581 CNRS/Université René Descartes Paris VBoulogne-Billancourt CedexFrance

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