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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2011 Feb 27;366(1564):540-53. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0184.

Cortical mechanisms for trans-saccadic memory and integration of multiple object features.

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Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3T 2N2.


Constructing an internal representation of the world from successive visual fixations, i.e. separated by saccadic eye movements, is known as trans-saccadic perception. Research on trans-saccadic perception (TSP) has been traditionally aimed at resolving the problems of memory capacity and visual integration across saccades. In this paper, we review this literature on TSP with a focus on research showing that egocentric measures of the saccadic eye movement can be used to integrate simple object features across saccades, and that the memory capacity for items retained across saccades, like visual working memory, is restricted to about three to four items. We also review recent transcranial magnetic stimulation experiments which suggest that the right parietal eye field and frontal eye fields play a key functional role in spatial updating of objects in TSP. We conclude by speculating on possible cortical mechanisms for governing egocentric spatial updating of multiple objects in TSP.

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