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Behav Brain Res. 2014 Dec 15;275:281-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2014.09.013. Epub 2014 Sep 16.

Buildup of spatial information over time and across eye-movements.

Author information

Psychology Department, University of Florence, Italy, Neuroscience Institute, National Research Council, Pisa, Italy. Electronic address:
Department of Translational Research on New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, via San Zeno 31, 56123 Pisa, Italy; Scientific Institute Stella Maris (IRCSS), viale del Tirreno 331, 56018 Calambrone, Pisa, Italy.
Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Pharmacology and Child Heath, University of Florence, via San Salvi 12, 50135 Florence, Italy; Institute of Neuroscience CNR, via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy.


To interact rapidly and effectively with our environment, our brain needs access to a neural representation of the spatial layout of the external world. However, the construction of such a map poses major challenges, as the images on our retinae depend on where the eyes are looking, and shift each time we move our eyes, head and body to explore the world. Research from many laboratories including our own suggests that the visual system does compute spatial maps that are anchored to real-world coordinates. However, the construction of these maps takes time (up to 500ms) and also attentional resources. We discuss research investigating how retinotopic reference frames are transformed into spatiotopic reference-frames, and how this transformation takes time to complete. These results have implications for theories about visual space coordinates and particularly for the current debate about the existence of spatiotopic representations.


Saccade; Spatial stability; Spatiotopic representation

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