Attention doesn't slide: Spatiotopic updating after eye movements instantiates a new, discrete attentional locus

Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
Attention Perception & Psychophysics (Impact Factor: 2.17). 01/2011; 73(1):7-14. DOI: 10.3758/s13414-010-0016-3
Source: PubMed


During natural vision, eye movements can drastically alter the retinotopic (eye-centered) coordinates of locations and objects, yet the spatiotopic (world-centered) percept remains stable. Maintaining visuospatial attention in spatiotopic coordinates requires updating of attentional representations following each eye movement. However, this updating is not instantaneous; attentional facilitation temporarily lingers at the previous retinotopic location after a saccade, a phenomenon known as the retinotopic attentional trace. At various times after a saccade, we probed attention at an intermediate location between the retinotopic and spatiotopic locations to determine whether a single locus of attentional facilitation slides progressively from the previous retinotopic location to the appropriate spatiotopic location, or whether retinotopic facilitation decays while a new, independent spatiotopic locus concurrently becomes active. Facilitation at the intermediate location was not significant at any time, suggesting that top-down attention can result in enhancement of discrete retinotopic and spatiotopic locations without passing through intermediate locations.

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    • "When the target is stepped backwards, saccades adapt downwards due to the mismatch, despite the target still being more eccentric to the fovea. Although this prediction necessitates some kind of corollary discharge signal and attention can be spatiotopically encoded [28] given the recent evidence [29] and preceding arguments [18, 19], we believe that an attentional comparison in retinotopic coordinates is more tenable. "
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    ABSTRACT: When saccadic eye movements consistently fail to land on their intended target, saccade accuracy is maintained by gradually adapting the movement size of successive saccades. The proposed error signal for saccade adaptation has been based on the distance between where the eye lands and the visual target (retinal error). We studied whether the error signal could alternatively be based on the distance between the predicted and actual locus of attention after the saccade. Unlike conventional adaptation experiments that surreptitiously displace the target once a saccade is initiated towards it, we instead attempted to draw attention away from the target by briefly presenting salient distractor images on one side of the target after the saccade. To test whether less salient, more predictable distractors would induce less adaptation, we separately used fixed random noise distractors. We found that both visual attention distractors were able to induce a small degree of downward saccade adaptation but significantly more to the more salient distractors. As in conventional adaptation experiments, upward adaptation was less effective and salient distractors did not significantly increase amplitudes. We conclude that the locus of attention after the saccade can act as an error signal for saccade adaptation.
    Journal of Ophthalmology 04/2014; 2014:585792. DOI:10.1155/2014/585792 · 1.43 Impact Factor
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    • "There seems to be efficient updating even when corollary discharge signals are not present. Golomb and colleagues (Golomb, Chun, & Mazer, 2008; Golomb et al., 2010, 2011) used attentional facilitation to study updating of a memorized location during saccades. Retinotopic facilitation dominated spatiotopic facilitation directly following an eye movement , but within 250 ms facilitation at the irrelevant retinotopic location decayed and facilitation at the spatiotopic coordinates became dominant. "
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    ABSTRACT: Working memory enables temporary maintenance and manipulation of information for immediate access by cognitive processes. The present study investigates how spatial information stored in working memory is updated during object movement. Participants had to remember a particular location on an object which, after a retention interval, started to move. The question was whether the memorized location was updated with the movement of the object or whether after object movement it remained represented in retinotopic coordinates. We used saccade trajectories to examine how memorized locations were represented. The results showed that immediately after the object stopped moving, there was both a retinotopic and an object-centered representation. However, 200 ms later, the activity at the retinotopic location decayed, making the memory representation fully object-centered. Our results suggest that memorized locations are updated from retinotopic to object-centered coordinates during, or shortly after object movement.
    Vision research 11/2013; 94. DOI:10.1016/j.visres.2013.11.002 · 1.82 Impact Factor
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    • "For instance, in a retinotopic task (i.e., a task in which participants are explicitly instructed to maintain a location " relative to the eyes " ; Golomb et al., 2008), spatiotopic facilitation was found to be nonexistent. In contrast, in tasks that are characterized by a much stronger spatiotopic emphasis (Golomb, Nguyen-Phuc, et al., 2010; Golomb, Pulido, et al., 2010), the spatiotopic facilitation could equal or exceed the retinotopic trace. For example, when participants were required to maintain attention on the spatiotopic location during the entire trial (Golomb, Nguyen-Phuc, et al., 2010) and to detect targets at this location, this could have created a much higher demand for ongoing spatiotopic attention than was the case in the present experiment, where one could argue that participants were only required to update the subsequent memory probe retrospectively. "
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    ABSTRACT: Saccadic eye movements are a major source of disruption to visual stability, yet we experience little of this disruption. We can keep track of the same object across multiple saccades. It is generally assumed that visual stability is due to the process of remapping, in which retinotopically organized maps are updated to compensate for the retinal shifts caused by eye movements. Recent behavioral and ERP evidence suggests that visual attention is also remapped, but that it may still leave a residual retinotopic trace immediately after a saccade. The current study was designed to further examine electrophysiological evidence for such a retinotopic trace by recording ERPs elicited by stimuli that were presented immediately after a saccade (80 msec SOA). Participants were required to maintain attention at a specific location (and to memorize this location) while making a saccadic eye movement. Immediately after the saccade, a visual stimulus was briefly presented at either the attended location (the same spatiotopic location), a location that matched the attended location retinotopically (the same retinotopic location), or one of two control locations. ERP data revealed an enhanced P1 amplitude for the stimulus presented at the retinotopically matched location, but a significant attenuation for probes presented at the original attended location. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that visuospatial attention lingers in retinotopic coordinates immediately following gaze shifts.
    Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 03/2013; 25(9). DOI:10.1162/jocn_a_00390 · 4.09 Impact Factor
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