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Vision Res. 2011 Feb 9;51(3):323-32. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2010.11.010. Epub 2010 Nov 27.

Location and identity memory of saccade targets.

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Laboratorie Psychologie de la Perception, Paris Descartes University and CNRS, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006 Paris, France.


While the memory of objects' identity and of their spatiotopic location may sustain transsaccadic spatial constancy, the memory of their retinotopic location may hamper it. Is it then true that saccades perturb retinotopic but not spatiotopic memory? We address this issue by assessing localization performances of the last and of the penultimate saccade target in a series of 2-6 saccades. Upon fixation, nine letter-pairs, eight black and one white, were displayed at 3° eccentricity around fixation within a 20° × 20° grey frame, and subjects were instructed to saccade to the white letter-pair; the cycle was then repeated. Identical conditions were run with the eyes maintaining fixation throughout the trial but with the grey frame moving so as to mimic its retinal displacement when the eyes moved. At the end of a trial, subjects reported the identity and/or the location of the target in either retinotopic (relative to the current fixation dot) or frame-based(1) (relative to the grey frame) coordinates. Saccades degraded target's retinotopic location memory but not its frame-based location or its identity memory. Results are compatible with the notion that spatiotopic representation takes over retinotopic representation during eye movements thereby contributing to the stability of the visual world as its retinal projection jumps on our retina from saccade to saccade.

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