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J Vis. 2009 May 29;9(5):29.1-9. doi: 10.1167/9.5.29.

Post-saccadic location judgments reveal remapping of saccade targets to non-foveal locations.

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Biological Psychology and Neuropsychology, Hamburg University, Hamburg, Germany.


The present study addresses the question of how objects are localized across saccades. In a task requiring participants to compare the location of a post-saccadic probe with the pre-saccadic target, we investigated the roles of saccade landing site and post-saccadic probe location. Saccade landing sites vary from trial to trial because of oculomotor error but can also be shifted by saccadic adaptation. Visual targets were extinguished during the saccade and reappeared after a short blank to counteract saccadic suppression of displacement. Performance in localizing targets after unadapted saccades was nearly veridical and independent of actual landing site, showing that trial-to-trial oculomotor error did not contribute to post-saccadic localization. This result suggests that much of the oculomotor error of saccades is included in the efference copy vector and this allows the recovery of a remapped target location that is often not foveal, but stable and accurate across trials. Displacement judgments relative to this remapped location will be independent of trial-to-trial variability in landing site. After adapted saccades, post-saccadic localization shifted in the direction opposite to adaptation but again, trial-by-trial landing site variability did not correlate with performance. This result suggests that the efference copy matches the planned upcoming saccade, be it adapted or not.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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