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Exp Brain Res. 2013 Oct;230(2):165-74. doi: 10.1007/s00221-013-3640-z. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Stimulus-driven saccades are characterized by an invariant undershooting bias: no evidence for a range effect.

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School of Kinesiology and Graduate Program in Neuroscience, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 3K7, Canada.


Saccade endpoints are most frequently characterized by an undershooting bias. Notably, however, some evidence suggests that saccades can be made to systematically under- or overshoot a target based on the magnitude of the eccentricities within a given block of trials (i.e., the oculomotor range effect hypothesis). To address that issue, participants completed stimulus-driven saccades in separate blocks of trials (i.e., proximal vs. distal) that entailed an equal number of targets but differed with respect to the magnitude of their eccentricities. In the proximal block, target eccentricities were 3.0°, 5.5°, 8.0°, 10.5° and 13.0°, whereas in the distal block target eccentricities were 10.5°, 13.0°, 15.5°, 18.0° and 20.5°. If the range effect represents a tenable hypothesis, then the magnitude of target eccentricities within each block should selectively influence saccade endpoint bias. More specifically, the eccentricities common to the proximal and distal blocks (i.e., 10.5° and 13.0°) should elicit a systematic under- and overshooting bias, respectively. Results for the proximal and distal blocks showed a reliable undershooting bias across target eccentricities, and a direct comparison of the common eccentricities indicated that the undershooting bias was not modulated between blocks. Moreover, our results show that the presence of online target vision did not influence the undershooting bias. Thus, the present findings provide no support for an oculomotor range effect; rather, results evince the mediation of saccades via a control strategy that minimizes movement time and/or the energy requirements of the response.

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