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

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.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by grants from the Department of Science & Technology and the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India. S. Ray was supported by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India. We thank Dr. A. Sripati, Dr. S.J. Heinen and A. Ramakrishnan for their critical comments on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Aditya Murthy.

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Ray, S., Bhutani, N., Kapoor, V. et al. Trans-saccadic processing of visual and motor planning during sequential eye movements. Exp Brain Res 215, 13–25 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-011-2866-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-011-2866-x

Keywords

  • Concurrent processing
  • Eye movements
  • Attention
  • Saccadic suppression